How tech firms like Google and Apple come up with names

By Wendy Lee

July 14, 2017

Catchword in San Francisco ChronicleDandelion. Snapdragon. Plume.

The words evoke images of flowers or a bird spreading its wings. But they’re names in the tech industry, too — a company that will focus on bringing geothermal energy systems to homes; a Qualcomm processor; and a Palo Alto business that sells Wi-Fi signal boosters.

Companies can spend thousands of dollars on experts to come up with names that sometimes seem crazy. Finding a winner is increasingly difficult, especially as domain names for websites fill up. At the end of 2016, there were 142 million domain name registrations ending in .com and .net, up from 114 million in late 2011, according to VeriSign, a domain name registry….

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…The budget for a naming project can range from $6,000 up to six figures, according to Maria Cypher, creative director of Catchword Branding, which works with both startups and global corporations. …

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