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

The Bay Area is undeniably the wild west of new tech. And if Uber and Lyft thought this town ain’t big enough for the both of them, well, they’ve got another thing coming; there’s a new horse in town. The next means of getting from the downtown Oakland saloon to your hideout in the Berkeley hills is called Gig. Giddyup!

Gig Car

from www.gigcarshare.com

Gig is a car share that, like some city bike operations, lets you drive a car without returning it to where you picked it up. It’s $2.50 a mile, and then $.30 cents a minute if you park it but keep it reserved (or park it outside of downtown Berkeley or Oakland). There are hourly and day rates as well.

Gig fits a lot of the criteria for a great app name. It’s clever, short as can be, and has a repeating letter which, even non-sequentially, makes a name more memorable. Giggle is a great, subtle suggestion, and little may some people know, one of gig’s historical definitions is of a two-wheeled carriage pulled by one horse. (Hence the wild west claptrap at the head.)

However, in the current zeitgeist, the strongest connotation of gig is a short job. We’re living in the heyday of the gig economy, and so the name ironically brings us back to competitors Uber and Lyft. Gig is not, however, part of the gig economy, because the service doesn’t come with a driver working as a contractor. Gig is not really part of the sharing economy either, because the cars are owned by the company. It’s really a new spin on rental cars more than anything else, so the gig economy suggestion may be slightly confusing.

Another aspect of the gig economy I’d like to note – and this is important for the name simply because it can be associated with the word gig – is that in some political and social circles (including East Bay circles), the benefits and consequences of the gig economy are starting to be questioned more and more and more by economists and journalists. (Of course, there are many that also laud the gig economy.) That trend may continue, and if the gig economy becomes increasingly criticized, the name Gig will suffer.

Lastly, for the sake of equal airtime, I’ll end with the other definitions of gig: a musical performance engagement, a type of rowboat, a spear used for frog hunting, slang for a demerit for an infraction of military dress code, and slang for gigabit-speed internet. You may see the name lampooned (or harpooned) in Bay Area Frog Fishing Monthly, but other than that, no huge issues there.

Grade: A-

In the current zeitgeist, the strongest connotation of gig is a short job. We’re living in the heyday of the gig economy, and so the name ironically brings us back to competitors Uber and Lyft. Gig is not, however, part of the gig economy…

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