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Make A Splash

A name like the Toilet-Seat Light can have Thomas Edison rolling in his grave, but it can't sell a product on its own.

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A clever product-the Toilet-Seat Light-has young entrepreneur Kevin Mbithe, 19, rushing out to run small-space ads to attract attention. And yet he writes he's had "a very low customer response." I think I know the problem. It's certainly not the product itself-it's a stopper. Apart from its obvious utility, you can't help but get a chuckle out of it. However, Mbithe is relying on the name alone to do the work for his ad.

To a degree, because of its uniqueness, the name gets notice. But does it impel the reader to buy? No, because using the name alone, without spelling out a reason to buy the product in the headline, is risky.

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