Slink Slank Slunk: Product Naming As Seen On TV!

By Laurel Sutton

February 23, 2009

As my fellow office-mates at Catchword World Headquarters will tell you, I’m always cold. Always. On any given day, I will be wearing several layers of clothing, including silk underwear and wool sweaters. I think I’m part reptile.

It’s no different at home (why did I move to California, again?), so despite my better judgement about buying things off TV, I bought something off TV. And it’s AWESOME. Sure, it’s just a blanket with sleeves, but it’s a warm blanket with sleeves, allowing me to eat pretzel Goldfish while watching Mythbusters and still stay warm.

Now, the discerning reader will notice that there are two brands of the blanket-with-sleeves on the market right now – the Slanket and the Snuggie. They’re the same, exactly the same product – except that one has a really stupid name. Can you guess which one I mean? Here, I’ll give you a few hints: it’s the one that recalls words like slinky, slimy, slashy, clanky, slacker, and my favorite, skanky. Give up?

Slanket definitely rates as one of the worst product names in recent memory. I know it’s supposed to be a portmanteau of sleeve + blanket, but the resulting mess is clumsy, awkward, and overflows with negative associations. I applaud the inventor of the Slanket, but there are times when you really should ignore the obvious name and get a professional to help you with your product naming.

On the flip side, we have the Snuggie. Despite sounding like a diaper, I think this is a great name: it conveys the warm and cozy feeling you get when you’re wrapped up in one. Interestingly, because the blanket is open at the back (kind of like a huge fleecey hospital gown), you’re not really snug inside it, certainly not as snug as a bug in a rug. But the name hits all the right notes, and the “-ie” ending is cute and homey. Snuggie wins over Slanket, hands down.

I bought the Snuggie – the second one pictured – but not because of the name. It was because you got two for the price of one – plus a couple of reading lights thrown in for free!

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