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This tactic isn’t for everyone.

And I’m not sure I even recommend it.

But you’ve got to hand it to Sweet Jesus Ice Cream – they are getting TONS of free publicity, courtesy of Christians who take offense at the name.

Sweet Jesus is a Canadian ice cream chain. When they announced they were entering the US market, American Christians became upset and started petitions to keep them out, which generated a flood of publicity for the company.

It could easily have gone the other way, with Christians being happy that someone remembered their #1 guy and thought enough of him to name a company after him.

Well, okay, maybe not.

But the real lesson here might be that specific names will generate buzz – good or bad – and it’s essential to take that into account when naming your product or service.

If your product is ordinary (ice cream), then you need an extraordinary name or story that people can buy into.

In the case of these Sweet Jesus Ice Cream shops, some people will go there just because of the name. Others won’t go, again, just because of the name. The chain of stores is attracting their tribe of people with only two words: Sweet Jesus.

Why does a perfume named after a celebrity radically outsell the same perfume with a generic name?

Why are nail polishes named Topless, Vamp, and Barefoot, instead of pink, red, and maroon?

Because people are buying (or not buying) the idea more than the product.

Apple positioned itself as cool while positioning its competitor as nerdy and outdated. It didn’t matter if it was a marketing strategy designed to manipulate, it only mattered if people bought into the idea, which many did.

People buy the idea you present to them, along with how that idea makes them feel.

What idea is your product or business presenting?

And are people buying it?

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