There is no “t” in element

product naming company namesBut there is a “u” in stupid. And you know who you are. Starwood Hotels has announced that “Element” is the name of their new upscale extended-stay brand, and that the letter “t” has become too hot to handle. From USA Today:

There’s a long list of naming don’ts, says Starwood spokeswoman KC Kavanagh. You can’t use one that doesn’t play well overseas (the “T” in ELEMENT has to be curved, or else it could be perceived as a cross, which wouldn’t go over in Muslim countries).
You don’t want a name that’s
“too flaky, too feminine.”

Will the branding nimrod who thinks we now have to change the alphabet because people can’t distinguish between a letter of the alphabet and a Christian symbol please step forward? Does this affect all temporary lodging literature, or just signage? How will hotels, motels and resorts address the notions of atriums, room rates, banquets, baths, buffets, check out times, reservations, continental breakfasts, guest relations, hospitality, valet services, late arrival policies, package tours, porters, room rates, pillow top mattresses, suites, twin beds, and vacant rooms?

Stupidity is viral, and especially potent when backed by research and a PowerPoint, so it will be interesting to see if Marriot, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental and Madarin Oriental follow suit.

But just in case, we were up all night curving all the “t”s on this blog.

Don’t laugh, “x”s, you’re little more than leaning crosses. Or as we like to say, a dead letter walking.

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That went wherever I did go

An email we received yesterday, published here with the author’s permission:


just a quick question from a small independent game-dev house competing against the ones like EA, Ubisoft or MS.

what’s your first impression of ‘Stoked Rider’ as the franchise name for a series of video-games in outdoor-sports.
like Stoked Rider: Big Mountain Snowboarding
and then followed by like Stoked Rider: Downhill MTB, SR: Extreme Freeriding etc..

2002 Stoked Rider – freeware game ( more than 1.5mill units downloaded worldwide)
2006 Stoked Rider ft. Tommy Brunner ( first commercial game in this franchise, released in march but the name giving pro-boarder Tommy Brunner died in an avalanche 2 weeks after the game’s release)

2006 Stoked Rider: Big Mountain Snowboarding (to be released this winter season while still thinking of either keeping the name or dropping it)

thanks for the help in getting the best name for our venture
greetings from austria,

Michael Putz
Bongfish Interactive Entertainment

Jump in and give Mr. Putz your thoughts on his name.

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If you like Piña Colitis

Looking to slow waaaay down but can’t quite bring yourself to cram a Cinnabon Carmel Pecanbon (1100 calories/56 grams of fat) down the old gullet? Have you developed a temporal sense of respect for yourself and are you thinking, “Hmm, an Auntie Anne’s Cinnamon Sugar pretzel might do the trick, and at only 400 calories and 9 grams of fat, I might not need the motorized scooter on my next visit”?

Well, the corporate gurus at Cinnabon have anticipated the evolution of your thinking. Next time you’re livin’ large at the mall / airport, you won’t have to choose.

It’s the 754 calorie (you get to keep the scooter) Cinnabon CinnaPretzel :
product naming

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Of gems, chain mail, sentries, centuries, the Pentagon and BMWs

Landor strikes again:

company_namingLandor created the name Centigon, which rhymes with Pentagon and is coined from “sentry” suggesting protection and “century” hinting at heritage.

The “Diamond Shield” mark was inspired by the prestige and strength of a diamond, the world’s most impervious element, the personal protection and agility of chain mail armor and the mobility and performance of a luxury car. The mark is luminescent, prestigious, and communicates the important functionality of layers of protection.

“Aentagon, Bentagon Centagon, Dentagon, Eentagon, Fentagon, Gentagon, Hentagon, Lentagon, Jentagon, Kentagon, Lentagon, Mentagon, Nentagon, Oentagon, Qentagon, Rentagon, Sentagon, Tentagon, Uentagon, Ventagon, Wentagon, Xentagon, Yentagon, Zenatgon…hold on, I’ve got it!”

Seriously though, if you want to save a bundle on your next landoresque naming project, here’s a hot tip. Zentagon is clear for U.S trademark registration in any and all businesses.

But hold fast your beating colon, there’s more. is available for registration as of right now.

From the annals of the beast

Originally posted March 3, 2003

Gilt by association: Niagara and Avlimil

girl gateViagra’s successful sexual conquest of the male organ has spawned a flood of products designed to spread the joy in the opposite direction. The best-named Female Sexual Dysfunction remedy by far is Niagara – it’s powerful, wet, and funny, just like good sex. And it obviously parries well the thrust of the name “Viagra.”

But now there’s is a new girl in town, and she is taking a far more clinical approach to seduction. Her come-hither moniker? Avlimil. Sure it’s cold, inhuman and unmemorable, but then we’ve all “dated” someone like that.

Actually it’s part of a unique strategy erected to whet your appetite for Avlimil and elevate it above the others vying for your attention.

You see, Niagara and Avlimil are both herbal remedies. But while Niagara is proud and confident of who it is, Avlimil is trying to sound like “serious” prescription medicine. And it’s not just the name. In the TV commercial the fidgety female spokesperson – in a clear reference to Viagra – says, “Men have their little blue pill, and now we have ours.” The illusion is furthered in the packaging:


And what does the mysterious descriptor “(salvia rubus) tablets” mean? Salvia comes from the Latin salveo, meaning “I am well,” and an herb, Salvia, used for healing, while rubus is Latin for bramble or berry. It’s apothecary-speak for sage and raspberry leaf, Avlimil’s main ingredients. The whole campaign is well thought out and deftly executed to fully leverage the success and mind-share of Viagra.

BlandorSays Blandor the Imponderable: “‘Avlimil’ is derived from the Latin av, meaning ‘ear’ and limi, meaning ‘waxy’. An added bonus is mil, Latin for ‘a whole bunch’, which suggests that the pill will appeal to many women the world over.”

How to name a product

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SpiralFrog is partying like it’s 1999

SpiralFrog, the advertising supported (free) music downloading service that will launch in December, seems to be hellbent on repeating each and every mistake of the dotbomb era.

The first clue is the pointless name. Smushing together two random words to create a new compound word was a dotcom badge of stupiditiy, a la FatBrain, FogDog, BlueMartini, RazorFish, RedHat, etc. The next step was to capitalize the second word in the compound: SpiralFrog. This late nineties affectation is called a “CamelCase” type treatment (it’s a hump thing, started by programmers). Third, and most importantly, give away your product in hopes of creating lots of traffic and ad revenue.

Anybody pumped to work for stock options, the love of foosball and free- flowing m&m’s? Financially speaking, “SpiralFrog” should prove to be a prophetic name choice.

How to name a company

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