You’ve seen other people do it.
Stephen Colbert used to do it all the time. George Bush (Jr) is probably still doing it.
Both of them got pretty famous for their efforts (although, for different reasons). That word they create is sometimes called a portmanteau, but I like to call it the act of “wordification.” There are two definitions of Wordify on UrbanDictionary.com. This is the one I like:
Verb: To create a word, often used with words that don’t make sense. As in – Dude, I’ll give you ten bucks if you go wordify something up on urbandictionary.com
You should totally be doing this for your business. Why? Because when you use a familiar word or concept and add an unexpected twist, you will do two things: Capture attention. And connect emotionally with your prospect. Here are a few examples of what I mean:
- Havi Brooks, of The Fluent Self does this in her tagline: When You Need Some Destuckification (my emphasis) – Havi uses the made-up word ‘destuckification’ to speak to how she helps her clients best. She also uses the words ‘biggification’ and ‘dissolve-o-matic’ in different product offerings. Check out her website. It’s totally fun and full of her personality.
- Colleen Wainwright did this with her nickname/brand name: The Communicatrix – the play on dominatrix gives you the impression she probably won’t sugar coat her advice (and she doesn’t).
Your assignment this week is to step outside your comfort zone, get playful, and wordify something in your business. Here’s what I want you to do:
1. Think About What Makes You and Your Business Unique
Start with your core strengths and talents. Make a list. Then do an inventory of your personality traits, hobbies, or anything you have a passion for.
2. Start Mixing
Take one word from your core strengths list and one from your passions list and put them together. (This process is how I came up with Word Chef.) Keep it simple. Stay away from word combinations with more than three syllables. This ensures your new term is easy to understand. Try to come up with as many different wordifications as you can. Write them on a white board, or put each one on a sticky note and post it on your office wall.
3. Let them Simmer
Live with your ideas for a few days. And then start narrowing down your options. Consider whether or not your new wordifications:
- Have possibilities for other further development (in my case, I knew that cooking was very much like the process of writing or creating and that I could develop additional themes around the metaphor).
- Create a mental picture. Can you visualize it? Does it make sense?
- Make you smile. Does it feel good? Entertain you?
- Are hard to spell or pronounce. If you’re going to have to spell it out every single time someone asks you about it, leave it alone.
- Have any negative hidden meanings or connotations. If so, trash them.
4. Test ’em
Do a little research and see if anyone else is using your word. Google it. Are there any bad stories or negative things attached to it? Is there someone else using it for good?
See if you can register the domain name. Back when I was using WordChef, the .com was already taken. But THEwordchef.com wasn’t.
Play with combinations. When you’ve narrowed things down, ask a few trusted friends or colleagues to give you their impressions. Make sure these folks represent your ideal customer.
You can do this formally with a survey (try Facebook questions; or Survey Monkey if you want to be more private).
If you’re not a tech nerd, you could also just ask your friends to lunch and bounce your ideas off them.
Did you settle on something? Great! Now go forth and conquer your niche. Need some help? Leave a comment below and I will get you some solid feedback, pronto.