What’s in a Name?



I run into this brand of hot sauce in Wal-Mart (at least in Louisiana), and it always gets me thinking about brand names, book titles, and character names.

It also makes me wonder, “What in the world were they thinking?”

If you happen to pass the hot sauce aisle while shopping with a friend, it also generates a ton of laughter.

Whoda thunkit: A brand of hot sauce named “Slap Ya Mama.”

I guess they’re trying to say that the sauce has a little kick to it.

If they’re trying to get a reaction, it certainly worked.

And it works for brand recognition: I’ll never forget it.

But I’ve never tried it either… Perhaps more than a few people wouldn’t feel comfortable walking up to the counter with a bottle of Slap Ya Mama hot sauce.

I can imagine teenage boys daring one another to buy a box of tampons and a bottle of Slap Ya Mama cajun pepper sauce. The look on the cashier’s face would be so worth it.

Maybe the target audience for their hot sauce doesn’t mind the name, so maybe it attracts more sales than it deters. Maybe a good portion like the name…

What if this were a book? I shudder to think of a dozen authors reading this post, all thinking, “Wow! That would be a great book title.”

Research shows that names do matter: Whether choosing brand names, book titles, or character names, these decisions can make a big impact.

When the name doesn’t work, it can deter sales. When it’s just right, it can help sales.

Three words or less, especially words easy to understand and remember, aid in brand recognition.

When the words clearly signify the product, even better.

And they have to fit. It has to sound right. These two points are important with the art of choosing character names, too.

Naming a character is like naming a baby. Except you have dozens of characters, and probably won’t have as many babies.

So what do you think about a novel named: Slap Ya Mama—A romance with a little kick to it? (A cajun romance, of course.)

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

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