About

With close to two decades of experience creating names—for over 500 clients—Catchword is a recognized leader in the field. Our value proposition is, simply put: the best names, delivered by the most experienced and responsive professionals.

What Sets Catchword Apart?

A Process That Works, Consistently
Naming isn’t for the faint of heart. Start with the fact that it’s personal and subjective. Throw in a ludicrous trademark and domain-name landscape. Add in a few linguistic hurdles. Oh and while we’re at it, sprinkle in multiple decision-makers. What you have is a set-up for disaster or, more likely, least-common-denominator creativity. Enter Catchword’s naming process, which we’ve been honing for almost two decades. How do we elicit the best naming feedback from clients? Who should be involved and when? How do we optimize a client budget for preliminary searches? Which countries are truly essential for linguistics screening? Whatever your issue, we’ve seen it before (probably a few hundred times) and have got you covered with a proven process.

Our Passion for Naming
We’re not the dabbling kind. We believe our success is the result of a singular focus on brand name development. Dedicate yourself to something and you can be the best at it, right? And lucky for us, we love what we do. From briefing to final name selection, we’re fascinated and inspired by the process of naming things. Our backgrounds in brand management, advertising, marketing, linguistics, law, and media are diverse (and pretty darned interesting) but have led us to the same passion for naming.

Quantitative Creativity
The challenge isn’t creating a few good names; it’s creating so many that there are still great options standing after legal, linguistics, and domain screening get in the way (and they will). Our secret weapon is Quantitative Creativity—developing a staggering array of memorable, on-message candidates. In a typical project, we create more than 2000 names and screen hundreds for preliminary availability. Call it overkill or OCD, but we think of it as standard operating procedure.

Breadth of Portfolio and Clientele
Our clients include titans like Intel, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Allstate, Johnson & Johnson, and Wells Fargo as well as startups, mid-sized companies, and nonprofits. Like our clients, our name styles and tonalities span the spectrum—from descriptive to abstract, playful to professional. We’d never be so diva as to say we only use real words for our names, or that we’d never deign to use the letter H. We are creatively agnostic—which actually means we’re more creative, not less. Our work is finely tuned to suit your business objectives, company culture, personal preferences, and legal and global realities. Take a look at our portfolio and clients and see for yourself.

How to Work with a Naming Company

Latest Name Review

Audi has had a few electric versions of their existing models for a while, using the descriptor “e-tron” to designate electronic (e.g., the Audi A3 e-tron). But now, they are gearing up to offer an all new, all-electric SUV that is simply called the Audi e-tron. Now that the brake screeching noise has cleared out of my brain, I figured I would write a little bit about this name.

from www.audi.com

from www.audi.com

It’s easy to see what they hoped for. They hoped for a name that conveyed electric vehicle, and also sounded futuristic and maybe even hip. It wasn’t quite as easy to see how they arrived at e-tron because I got hung up on the movie/comic (Tron) for a while, but then I realized they took the word electronic (or just electron), kept it lowercase, and replaced a few letters with a hyphen. As a version descriptor, e-tron is debatably okay. But as the name of a new line of cars? Notwithstanding the confusion they may create by using it in different contexts, I think it was a mistake. Here’s why.

First, any crash test dummy will tell you that the “e-“ prefix feels very dated. E has signified electronic (in the digital sense) for a long time — a la eBay, eHarmony, eHow, and just plain email — and that’s a bad thing. Feels like they have thrown it into reverse with using an old, uncreative naming convention.

Second, using the hyphen is total bush league! It is meant to take the place of “lec” in electronic, but — permit me a schoolmarmish grouse here — that’s what apostrophes are supposed to do. And more unfortunately, hyphens are not sexy. If I ranked punctuation on how sexy it is, hyphens would not make the top five. They make the name seem cut-rate.

Third, it is a mistake that nothing is capitalized. It makes the name look weak and inelegant. I can get on board with non-capitalized names for, say, a coffee shop or shampoo — something that wants to be cute or quirky — but not an electric car, which needs to do everything it can to suggest power and strength (because as drivers will tell you, electric vehicles have a reputation for pretty wussy performance on the freeway.)

So, why didn’t they start an E Series to fit with the rest of their naming architecture? I think it’s simply because they had been going with e-tron as a descriptor for a while and thought that it carried some cachet. But, how much better would an alphanumeric have been! The Audi E1 or Audi E3 would have been intuitive, elegant, and powerful.

from www.audi.com

from www.audi.com

Not to be a back seat driver, they still could have done much better even if they didn’t want to start an E Series. Just playing with the word electronic, I would have preferred the Audi Elect, the Audi Tronic, or the Audi Lectro better than the Audi e-tron. At least those have capital letters in them.

Yes, a lot of consumers’ draw towards one car or another has to do with the brand. You’re a Toyota person, or you’re a Ford person, etc. Audi has always relied on the strength of the Audi name, and not on model names, so the e-tron line will be protected because it will always be yoked to Audi. However, with electric vehicles, I think automotive brand allegiance doesn’t carry the same weight. It’s a different ball game (after all, one of the market leaders is Tesla, which has never made combustion cars). As a result, Audi should have been much more careful with picking the name of their electric vehicle.

Not to be a back seat driver, but just playing with the word electronic, I would have preferred the Audi Elect, the Audi Tronic, or the Audi Lectro better than the Audi e-tron. At least those have capital letters in them.

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