I admit it. It was the name of this product that got my attention and compelled me to open the freezer case to read the package.

It wasn’t just the promise of an easy, delicious meal, though. It was the utter approachability of the name.

This kind of name usually doesn’t survive a corporate naming process. “That’s negative. We don’t want to be negative. The name should have ‘easy’ or ‘perfect’ or something positive like that in it.”

But I would not have picked up a product named so tritely. I would not have even noticed it. “Can’t Mess It Up” got my attention because it had the word “mess” in it. That’s not something you see every day in a food product. (Read this for more on how negativity can make a brand name more effective.)

Beyond that, “Can’t Mess It Up” sounds human–like something a friend would say. Unlike a product that promises perfection with an expected, positive name (which I would dismiss immediately as unbelievable), this brand suggests an empathy for people who may be uncertain about their culinary prowess.

In short, it was the humanity in this name that suggested I might be able to believe its promise.

So I bought the salmon. And then I messed it up.

In fairness, though, I didn’t follow the directions. Next time I won’t try to heat up a meal and be on a conference call at the same time.