The Worst Company Names of All Time
"Bookgoo, which is a site that allows you to highlight Web pages, sounds like something nasty that would make the pages of a dirty old library book stick together," says Christopher Johnson, a Seattle-based naming expert, who runs The Name Inspector (www.thenameinspector.com) blog. "The way the pronunciation gets 'stuck' between the k and g sounds strengthens this unfortunate association."
"The name limits this company to being identified with a single category," says Phillip Davis, the founder of Tungsten Branding in Brevard, N.C. "But they sell books, music and magazines. As a result, they must market harder to overcome this."
"Just try to say it three times fast," Davis says.
"The truncated geographic descriptor name limits the company to one category in one country," Davis says. "If you're looking for a computer in the U.S., this is your place. But for a DVD player? Who knows?"
"There's almost no point in even trying to understand where they're going with this," says Eli Altman, a brand strategist at A Hundred Monkeys, a naming firm in Mill Valley, Calif. "OK, so they do transportation in the air -- I get it. To just say exactly what you do, and say it in the most boring way possible, doesn't really help anyone involved."
"Of course, this is definitely not a word, but it sounds like one," Altman says of the VOIP phone service. "The problem is there's no inherent property in this name. You hear it, and it's just kind of a passable word. It seems like the goal with a name like this is to go unnoticed. I would love to hear their explanation of what this has to do with who they are or what they're about."
"It's not clear how to pronounce this name, but the most likely pronunciation is identical to the word "incubi", the plural of "incubus," the name for a demon from Medieval folklore that rapes women in their sleep," Johnson says of the online inventor community. "Have we learned nothing from the Reebok Incubus fiasco?" [In the 1990s, Reebok came out with a women's running shoe called Incubus.]
"Co America? Is there another America that I don't know about?" Altman says. "I guess this company could say that they work with America. America is never a word you should play with or add things on to. I think people have extraordinarily complex views of the word. They're playing with a very available and present word, and they did it in a careless way."
"This great example of bad wordplay seems to combine two words with unhelpful meanings: "fertilizer" (meaning 'manure') and "fair" (meaning 'so-so')," Johnson says of the online music company. "The transition between the first two syllables is unnatural in English, so the eleven-year-old in all of us can't avoid seeing and hearing the name as Fartilizer."