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

In the tech world, if you don’t evolve, you fall behind. And when you fall too far behind, even the most up to date Mapquest directions won’t necesarily get you caught back up. (Just ask Jeeves. Or Yahoo.)

About.com, founded at the peak of the .com boom, is re-routing to stave off a slow ride into the sunset. Their larger strategy is to focus on a host of sub-brands centered around vertical interest areas, but as part of their rebirth, they’re getting a new name. About.com is becoming Dotdash.

Dotdash

from www.dotdash.com

 

In a lot of ways, Dotdash is a great upgrade. The first part of the name’s story is that dot dash is Morse code for the letter A, which of course harkens back to the original name. With a pinch of fun alliteration, the name also captures that magical combination of feeling familiar and yet fresh. We’re all familiar with Morse code and have heard the words together before – but as the name of a company? That’s fresh.

And the second part of the name’s story is that the dot represents where they were, the dash where they are going. How quirky, abstract, and sophisticated! In the name is the promise that they are going all in on the self-reinvention. (That’s one way to make sure the new outlook permeates the brand and company culture.) And for me, at least, I buy it. The dash is a jag off from the dot. The dot feels centered and established, the dash fun and dynamic. That makes sense to me.

What does not make sense to me, however, is how they chose to represent Dotdash in the new logo. A period and then the word dash? That is too cute for my taste. And people may very well assume that .dash is one of the new gTLDs (generic top-level domains), especially since it’s written lowercase. There is nothing at http://www.dot.dash or http://www.about.dash or any.dash you might try, and that could be trouble. But perhaps the company isn’t worried about folks entering such a URL directly and coming up empty. (Google will suggest dotdash.com if you leave off the http://.)

But this is a name review, so back to Dotdash. Dash implies speed, lightness, and ease. These aren’t, at first glance, the most germane messages for online information (especially when your revenue model involves building out listicles 50 entries long in your interest verticals), but these meanings certainly aren’t detractions or distractions.

Abstract names come in a range of styles, from totally coined — like Hulu or Zoosk — to real words simply used (far) out of context, like Alphabet or Amazon. Regardless of the style, they take confidence and vision to pull off. Dotdash‘s alliterative Ds and staccato syllables sound definitive, confident, and make the name even easier to remember. I think Dotdash is a winner. Whether the name is too off the wall for customers to really latch on to remains to be seen, but Dotdash’s phonetic qualities will help the name stick.

With a pinch of fun alliteration, the name also captures that magical combination of feeling fresh and yet familiar.

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