The scold

Just because you can get away with a salacious product name doesn’t mean you should. Effen vodka is one such name I’ve been annoyed about since I first saw it. The Effen reviews vary, but I think the real appeal must be asking for it at a bar. And while Suxx wine has been dubbed “a very fun fruit bomb” by wine critic Gary Vaynerchuk, the well-mannered, middle-aged suburban mom and lawyer in me really doesn’t want to ask my wine merchant, “Do you have any Suxx?” Neither do I want to offer Suxx at my next party. Both names are just too much. They’ve eschewed any attempt at wit for pure shock value.


So I was even more shocked to see this at Ulta today:



When used in connection with hair, the term “blow” is customarily followed by “out” or “dry.” While the omission of those terms arguably makes “blow” as a mark somewhat more protectable as a trademark (and I’ll spare you the details), when I see “blow” alone, I think of two alternatives, neither of which has to do with hair, and both of which would make me uncomfortable to ask for the product – as uncomfortable as I’d be asking for Effen or Suxx, quite honestly. Or Head, for that matter. 

Are you naming your product for shock value or to build an enduring brand? Remember the immortal words of David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel: It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.