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  1. Catchword wins Transform Award for WomenLift Health

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    For the third consecutive year, Catchword has been honored with a Transform Award for Best Naming Strategy, this time for WomenLift Health, developed for the new nonprofit within Stanford Global Health that improves health internationally by supporting women’s leadership.

    Winners were announced online in a virtual awards event earlier this month, rather than the usual November New York gala.

    “We are delighted to be recognized again by Transform, particularly for work with such a visionary organization,” said Catchword co-founder Maria Cypher. “WomenLift Health is literally changing the face of health leadership in our world, which will lead to healthier, better lives for everyone.”

    The Bronze Award for Best Naming Strategy from Transform follows two Golds for the name earlier this year, from the MarCom Awards and the Hermes Creative Awards. (Details about the name and project in the Hermes award link.)

    “For namers, this is really the Triple Crown,” Catchword principal Mark Skoultchi said, referring to the three naming competitions. “We are thrilled to share these awards with Stanford Global Health, whose collaborative work to increase equity in health is the true winner.”

    Transform, the global magazine for rebranding and brand development, honors and rewards the most innovative, creative, and successful brand work across the world each year.

    “This is the sixth year that the Transform Awards North America has celebrated the transformative power of brand strategy and design. … We’ve seen a challenging year, but the number of entries and especially the caliber of entries has just been fabulous,” said Andrew Thomas, publisher of Transform magazine.

    Congratulations to the Catchword and Stanford Global Health/WomenLift Health teams!

  2. Clutch names Catchword a worldwide leader for 2020: #1 for branding and #2 for all B2B services combined

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    Once again, Clutch, the foremost ranking and review site for B2B service providers, has recognized Catchword as the #1 company worldwide for branding and as a Clutch Global 1000 agency—the reviewer’s most exclusive award.

    The Global 1000 includes leading companies from around the world across all B2B services ranked by Clutch, including SEO, web development and design, app development, IT, and business services as well as advertising and marketing. Fewer than the top 1% of agencies make the cut. In 2020, the pool of competitors included more than 200,000 companies from 35 countries.

    The Branding Agency category incorporates companies that offer specialized branding skills, such as naming, as well as general branding services.

    “Well over 30,000 firms are profiled for branding on Clutch, and Catchword ranks highest … wow,” said Catchword principal and co-founder Maria Cypher, “but what really blows my mind and makes me prouder than you can imagine, is our position as second in the world amongst 200,000+ B2B service providers.”

    The Branding Agency Award was new last year, when Catchword also took the top spot, a complement to the Naming Agency Award that Catchword has captured every year since the competition began in 2017.

    The Clutch Global 1000 is in its third year, with Catchword moving up to the #2 position in 2020, from #3 in 2019 and #9 in 2018.

    For all its awards, Clutch analyzes each company across four criteria:

    • Recency, number, and quality of Clutch-verified reviews
    • Portfolio of clients
    • Services offered and experience providing those services
    • Brand reputation and market visibility

    “Each year, our company takes the time to highlight the top tier industry leaders in the global B2B market,” said Clutch Founder Mike Beares. “With an impressive background of projects, responsive customer service, and superior skillsets in their fields, these companies have proven time and again that they’re the best choice when selecting a B2B provider.”

    Catchword principal Mark Skoultchi weighed in on the importance of clients to the Clutch ranking: “I can’t emphasize enough how grateful we are to our clients for the consistently fantastic reviews we’ve received through the Clutch platform. It is entirely because they took the time to talk with Clutch analysts that Catchword’s renown continues to grow and that potential new clients can find the partner they need.”

    Clutch is the leading ratings and reviews platform for IT, marketing, and business service providers. Each month, more than half a million buyers and sellers of services use the Clutch platform, and the user base is growing over 50% a year. Clutch has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. and has been listed as a top 50 startup by LinkedIn.

  3. How to avoid creating culturally insensitive brand names

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    How Brands Are Built podcast features Laurel Sutton 6/11/18Laurel Sutton - Senior Strategist & Linguist, Catchword BrandingIn recent months, many heritage brands have had to come to terms with their harmful histories and culturally insensitive brand names. From acknowledging their perpetuation or promotion of stereotypes like Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Jemima, to recognizing their racist or sexist worldviews like Fair & Lovely, to taking on their appropriation of culture like the Washington Redskins, many long-standing brands have had to reconsider their identities: changing their logos, overhauling their packaging, and revamping their names. …

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  4. How to avoid creating culturally insensitive brand names: How Brands Are Built guest post

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    From Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s to Fair & Lovely and the Washington Redskins, a number of heritage brands have recently had to come to terms with a history of bigotry and cultural insensitivity.

    This week on How Brands Are Built, Catchword co-founder and resident linguist Laurel Sutton examines the recent backlash and provides expert tips on how to avoid these kinds of branding mistakes and establish a positive, lasting legacy.

    How Brands Are Built is a blog and podcast where branding professionals get into the details of what they do and how they do it, practically and tactically.

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  5. MarCom Awards recognizes Catchword with gold for WomenLift Health

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    For the second year in a row, Catchword has taken gold in the Brand Naming category of the MarCom Awards, this time for naming WomenLift Health, the new nonprofit organization within Stanford Global Health that improves health around the world by investing in women’s leadership.

    Catchword’s efforts on WomenLift Health were recognized earlier this year with a Gold trophy from the Hermes Creative Awards. (Details about the name and project in that post.)

    “What a thrill to be recognized again with this high honor, especially for work on such a meaningful project,” Catchword co-founder Maria Cypher said. “WomenLift Health is literally changing the face of health leadership in our world, which ultimately will lead to healthier, better lives for everyone.”

    The MarCom Awards honors outstanding achievement in marketing and communication. The 2020 competition included more than 5,000 entries from the US and 28 other countries. The Gold Award is presented to entries judged to exceed the high standards of the industry norm.

    MarCom is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, an international organization of several thousand creative professionals and the industry’s preeminent third-party evaluator of creative work. AMCP has judged more than 200,000 entries since its formation in 1994.

  6. Catchword named a top branding agency for 2020 by

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    Independent review site has listed Catchword among the 15 best branding agencies of 2020. A leading resource for small business online tools, products, and services, ranked Catchword #3 nationwide.

    Catchword is thrilled to be included in this list of industry leaders,” said Catchword principal Mark Skoultchi. “ is a great source of information for small business owners.”

    Experts at conducted a 40-hour assessment of more than 140 branding agencies. Only companies with the capacity to work with clients across a variety of industries were considered for the list.

    “Branding is an essential service for every business, but finding the right agency can be a challenging process,” says Christelle Feniza, Communications Manager of “This guide was designed to help business owners identify the best branding agencies for their budget and campaign needs.”

  7. MUSE Creative Awards honors Catchword with gold for URSA: Music Extreaming

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    In its first entry to the Muse Creative Awards, Catchword has taken gold for URSA: Music Extreaming in the Corporate Identity category.

    URSA is the first music streaming platform to be developed by veteran music professionals. Their mission to place artists at the center of the streaming experience gives listeners an opportunity to go deeper with the music and artists they love while they are listening. Catchword worked closely with the founders to develop an engaging, memorable name and tagline for the company and its platform that appeals to both artists and fans.

    “We are thrilled to receive a gold MUSE,” said Catchword principal Mark Skoultchi. “The Catchword team are musicians and music lovers, so helping URSA brand its service that focuses on artists was especially rewarding.”

    The 2020 MUSE award is the second gold for Catchword’s work on URSA, which already captured the high honor from the MarCom Awards. (Details about the name and the project in that post.)

    The MUSE Creative Awards is a worldwide competition for professionals pushing the boundaries of excellence in their industry. Judged by a panel of 50+ seasoned creatives from the US and 21 other countries, and under the administration of the International Awards Associate (IAA), the awards honor work that exemplifies the qualities of a Muse.

    With more than 4,600 submissions from 57 countries, and despite the extraordinary challenges of the pandemic, the 2020 awards saw groundbreaking work across categories. “It is our privilege, as always, to honor these remarkable individuals,” said Kenjo Ong, CEO of the competition. “They have more than earned their achievements.”


  8. The ultimate nightcap? Name Review of Driftwell, Pepsi’s sleep aid drink

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    With Covid-19 upending our day-to-day, anxiety is on the rise and serious shut-eye in-demand. It’s no surprise then that Pepsi has decided to enter both the multibillion-dollar sleep aid and functional drink markets (respectively, $78.7B and $128.7B worldwide in 2019) with a product that combines the two in a 7.5 ounce can.

    Driftwell is Pepsi’s enhanced blackberry and lavender-flavored water drink that boasts L-theanine and magnesium. With two ingredients proven to promote relaxation and reduce stress, this functional water is designed to get you far more than 40 winks. But does this drink’s name work as well in the marketplace as the product does for your nighttime routine? Let’s take a closer look.

    Easy to pronounce and spell, Driftwell is a compound name that emphasizes function. Drift evokes the idiom “drift off,” suggesting gently and gradually falling asleep, and recalls the pleasant sensation of drifting, being carried slowly by a current of air or water. For most consumers, drift suggests peace, tranquility, even calm. Drift lightly recalls drink and dream (two five-letter “dr” words ), which subtly gives the name context. By pairing drift with well, the type of drifting this drink promotes is obvious. Doing double duty, well suggests drifting to sleep in a good way, as well as well-being.

    Taking a cue from growing brands Health-ade (a kombucha beverage line that has expanded from a few natural food shops in 2012 to 26,000 stores nationwide and a $20M investment from The Coca-Cola Company) and Care/of (a customized subscription vitamin service that’s disrupted CPG marketing), Driftwell chose a name that squarely positions it in the health and wellness category. That’s a smart, strategic play given the great expansion of that market in recent years.

    It’s worth noting what the name does not express—refreshment—given that most beverage brands focus on it. Unlike Mountain Dew, Dunkin’ Coolatta, or Bubly, the name Driftwell was not designed to seduce the senses. Nor does it over-index on fun and whimsy (think: Olipop or Sprite). However, this choice makes perfect sense with a brand story of healthful sleep.

    The name’s primary weaknesses are its use of two common words and potential unpleasant cultural associations with drift. Many existing consumer brand names use drift and well, which could easily confuse consumers or color their experiences. Fashion brand Madewell and sparkling beverage Spindrift immediately come to mind—with Spindrift a popular canned water already lining supermarket shelves. And though drifting off to sleep is a very pleasant notion, the word drift inevitably also takes us to some less-happy places: illegal drift nets threatening ocean life, cars drifting between lanes and endangering everyone on the road, and suspicious drifters lurking about. Then, of course, there’s the name’s similarity to driftwood, which brings to mind purposeless flotsam and suggests fibrous blandness or salty sand. (The idea of log-flavored water is more than enough to leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth!)

    So is Driftwell a dream-come-true, or simply a snoozefest? It’s definitely better than average, but as on many a morning when it’s time to get up, we’re craving just a little bit more. Drift plus well definitely do the job but aren’t a dream ticket.


  9. Catchword ranked #1 B2B service provider in California

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    Catchword has captured the top spot in Clutch’s annual list of leading B2B service providers in California. Called the 500 Leader Award, this honor ranks the best 500 services agencies in the state based on industry expertise and ability to deliver. Clutch, the best-known ratings and review platform for agencies worldwide, has been using vetted client reviews and market research to help companies find agency partners since 2013.

    “We are delighted to land #1,” said Catchword principal Maria Cypher. “Thanks so much to Clutch, who has repeatedly recognized our efforts to exceed expectations on every metric, and to our wonderful clients, who have taken the time to report their experiences with us.”

    The Clutch 500 Leader Award recipients for 2020 range in offerings from creative services to SEO and software development to accounting and business consulting. Competition was fierce in the Golden State, with thousands of agencies contributing to an economy that’s not only the largest among the states but is the 5th biggest in the world.

    “There’s really no two ways about it — California’s best blow everyone else out of the water,” commented Clutch Senior Customer Experience Analyst Carter Meetze. “Every year, we see new business service providers pop up around the country and are forced to wonder if it will finally be the year that California surrenders its spot as number one. Spoiler alert: we’re still waiting.”



  10. In Latest Report, Clutch Announces 2020 B2B Leaders from California

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    Today, Clutch released their list of the highest-ranking B2B service providers in California. The selected leaders are considered the best in their specific fields.

    Clutch, a leading market research firm based in Washington, DC announced the 500 Leader Award winners from California.

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