Crappy brand name?

By Mark Skoultchi

November 4, 2007

chicken_tube.jpgAccording to my bio I’m a magazine junkie with a predilection for high fashion. It’s true – I love magazines, especially my wife’s fashion mags (yeah, I’ll admit it). Flipping through her recent edition of People Style Watch I noticed this curious new brand name for a lip moisturizer: Chicken Poop. That’s right – CHICKEN POOP. As intended, I was a bit taken aback. Perhaps even a little outraged. Yeah, I guess I *was* outraged because my hands were up in the air, I was talking to myself about it and I’m sure I was making some pretty ugly faces. “What are they THINKING?! Chicken Poop??!! For a MOISTURIZER??? For ANYTHING??? This IS an outrage. It’s inflammatory! I’ve got write to someone. But who?? The FDA??? Nah. My congressman?? Yeah, right. Maybe I’ll just blog about it. Who else is gonna listen?”. So you’re all I’ve got. Thanks for being there for me.

Let’s face it – as namers we’re simply unable to evaluate a name without thinking about all the conceivable associations, the potential linguistic and cultural issues, the name length and construction, how easily it’s pronounced, its appropriateness for the product, and about a 100 other naming measurements. It’s like our DNA became altered 15 years ago when we got involved in brand name development. It’s now physically impossible for us to just DIGEST A NAME. We’ve gotta really chew it up, super fine, to a paste, before sending it down our gullets. Which is fine, and to be expected I suppose; we love what we do. But sometimes you just wanna read a name as anyone else would. As any consumer would. So here goes. Chicken Poop as evaluated by Mark Skoultchi, general consumer and magazine thief:

Holy Crap!! CHICKEN POOP??!! For a MOISTURIZER??!! Why would I want to smear chicken poop on my lips??? That’s absurd. What are they thinking? Idiots. Ohhhhh, wait. It’s probably not *really* made with chicken poop, is it?. No, I bet it’s not. This is some sort of marketing gimmick, isn’t it? Yeah, that’s it. There’s some other reason why they’re calling it Chicken Poop. Probably just wanna get my attention, be a little diiiiffrent. Probably not one turd in the whole recipe. But still, Chicken Poop?? For a lip moisturizer?? Whatever the story, do I really wanna be a part of it?? Hmmm. I’m not sure. Probably not. Maybe just a stick, to see how how it works. Maybe more, I don’t know. It’s funny. My friends will laugh. Certainly something to talk about. But long term?? I don’t know. It’s kind of a joke. Can’t imagine myself ever taking it seriously. And while Kiehl’s is a whole lot harder to spell, it works really well and I’ve always liked that brand. Guess I’ll just have to see.

So there you have it folks. Straight from the general consumer’s mouth. Sounds like he’s intrigued, but I’m not sure he’s gonna develop a real loyalty to that brand. Granted – he’s just an audience of one, but my guess is that Chicken Poop never displaces any of the heavy lippers in the category. That’s not to say it won’t make Jamie Tabor Schmidt (owner) a lot of money (and by the way, Jamie, I do love tongue-in-cheek marketing, including your “Simone Chickenbone, Natural Put-Ons” slogan, as you call it), but I do wonder how much traction the brand will have over time. And perhaps that’s just fine with Jamie. As she indicates on her website, www.ilovechickenpoop.com, she has 7 new products in the making. I’m sure the new brand names will be similarly provocative. Turkey Flem Hair Paste anyone??

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