We’ve all heard the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But let’s be honest here, we’ve all done it — both figuratively and literally.
Some of my favorite books when I was younger were written in the 80’s. The content was excellent, but the out-of-date pictures on the cover were a little embarrassing by the time the 2000’s rolled around. A few were dorky enough that I wouldn’t read them at school for fear someone might see them.
We do it with people as well. Don’t even try to tell me you haven’t looked at someone and thought, “Wow, he’s tall. Wonder if he’s any good at basketball.”
We also judge things by their name almost as much as their actually quality. Especially when it comes to store and product names.
There are a lot of names containing words such as “Great,” “Best,” “Number One,” “A1,” “Pure.” How are we supposed to know it’s the best or greatest? Because a marketer said so? You know what I’d like to see? Accurate naming. Wouldn’t that make trips to the store much more entertaining? Walking down the aisle and seeing something labeled, “Pretty Decent Value carrots.” Or perhaps, “Average Quality hot dog buns.” Around the corner you’d find some “Tastes Alright ranch dressing” and “Not Too Fresh potato chips.”
Speaking (er, typing?) of interesting names, my sister and I stumbled upon a great name the other day on our drive through the back roads of Oklahoma: Pokey’s Beauty Palace. Pokey’s Beauty Palace. I wish I was kidding. Is that really the name you’re going to go with? Of all the names out there that one is the best, most appealing name you can think of?
Perhaps the owner has established a large clientele since it is in a small town, but I for one know I wouldn’t want to go there. As my sister said, “If those people think Pokey is a good business name, I’m not sure I trust them with making my hair look good, too” As good as “Pokey”? … no thanks. I have no idea if they do quality work or not, but I’m not willing to take the risk.
Maybe those marketers are on the right track after all. Even if we know better, we put a lot of stock in names. No matter how much I giggle at the ridiculous names of some things, I’ll continue to choose a few of my purchases based on shaky, hole-punched logic. Unless, of course, I buy this nifty metal hat I saw on an infomercial at 3 am that keeps advertisers from messing with your thoughts while you shop. It only costs four easy payments of $24.99, and it’s a whole $100 from “the other guys.” How can you pass up savings like that? **
So, dear reader, what crazy names/products have you seen?
**Not really, but I bet if I made that infomercial I could sell at least a few colanders with a chin strap to some gullible, sleep deprived shoppers. Luckily for them my moral compass points due North, and quite frankly, even if it didn’t, I’m too lazy to make the infomercial anyway.