Hello My Name Is Awesome

Hello My Name Is Awesome

How to Create Brand Names That Stick

Berrett-Koehler, 2014 more...

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Brand-name consultant Alexandra Watkins details her methods for creating great brand, corporate or domain names, and for avoiding disastrous ones. She promises that you can devise a worthy name by avoiding certain pitfalls. Names can make or break a company, product or website, so professionalizing your naming strategy makes sense. getAbstract recommends Watkins’s light-hearted yet professional approach to naming to start-ups, entrepreneurs, businesspeople and marketers looking to create compelling, enduring names for companies, products or websites.


Linguistic Games

Naming businesses, products and services is not a scientific process and is not, in the jargon, “verbal identity engineering.” Brand names that use common words, or spring from them, work well, such as “Obsession perfume,” “Mayday tech support” or “Kryptonite locks.” These simple, evocative commercial names engage consumers and build sales.

Awkward corporate names, such as Xobni, Sur La Table, Flickr, Eukanuba and Iams, stand in contrast to straightforward clear brand names. Companies spend considerable time and effort to come up with these “head scratchers” and they do seem creative. However, such names don’t easily engage consumers and might confuse them. Beware of names that are hard to spell, pronounce or even decipher. Employees of these firms inevitably spend an inordinate amount of time apologizing for their corporate monikers.

Great names put a smile on your face, because you instantly understand and appreciate them. Mediocre names make you scratch your head and say, “Huh?” The “SMILE & SCRATCH test” is an evaluation tool for determining the attractiveness and efficacy of a proposed name.

“SMILE” Names

Solid brand names...

About the Author

Alexandra Watkins founded Eat My Words, a naming firm.

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