Going on the Offense

An edgy name can be highly effective at getting attention and sticking in a customer’s mind. But invariably, someone is going to complain about the name. That’s the nature of edge—it’s controversial. And these days, social media gives everyone a...

Cosmetics Names Push the Envelope

“Orgasm.” “Asphyxia.” “Underage Red.” “Dick Weed.” Beauty products are experiencing the “Miley Cyrus effect”—the need to get edgier every year in order to be noticed. Some of these names clearly cross the...

Strange Fruit

Racist brands have littered our marketplace for decades. Some, like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s, have made modest attempts to appear less offensive, while others (I’m looking at you, Washington Redskins) staunchly defend their brands against mounting...

Netflix: The Giant Stumbles

You almost have to feel sorry for Netflix. Once a towering paragon of transformative online business and delivery models, the entertainment giant has done a face plant. Netflix launched in 1997. Using an online ordering system (the “Net” in “Netflix”), customers could...