Latest Posts

  1. Can rebranding improve a company’s reputation?

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    Catchword cofounder Laurel Sutton weighed in on whether rebranding can improve a company’s reputation.

    Jim Heininger of Rebranding Experts says yes, calling rebranding a “jet pack to success.”

    Laurel says no. “Rebranding isn’t like the Witness Protection Program. Past bad behavior doesn’t disappear when the name is changed, especially in the 21st century, when the internet never forgets.”

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  2. Interview with 2022 MUSE Creative Awards Winner Mark Skoultchi

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    Interview with the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards Winner –
    Mark Skoultchi

    Mark Skoultchi is the Principal and Project Lead at Catchword, and is responsible for creating brands all over the world with one catchy name!

     

    Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

    I’m Mark Skoultchi, a Principal and the Project Lead at Catchword Branding, ranked the #1 naming agency in the world for the past six years by Clutch. I head Catchword’s East Coast operations (New York), though my clients hail from all around the country and the world.

    I joined the company in its early days, more than 20 years ago, after earning a BA in history from Brandeis, a JD from SUNY Buffalo, and several years as a creative director at Interbrand. Over the past decade or so I’ve come to love design as much as writing and have taken up building websites for friends in my spare time. Like many of my Catchword colleagues, music is central to my life, so on any given Sunday, you’ll find me playing guitar or listening to a new band.

     

    What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

    I’ve always been attracted to exploring the possible, to facilitating expression, to finding the most strategic and engaging way to communicate ideas. Because if no one understands you or is moved to listen, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying.

     

    Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

    The Catchword team are experts in every aspect of brand naming, from brand and naming strategy to name development to domain names to visual identity design. At Catchword, the team works together very closely, so whether you’re on the “account” side or the “creative” side, you weigh in on creative every day. I evaluate names and designs and often contribute to idea development and refinement in addition to managing projects, pitching business, and researching and developing strategy.

     

    What does “creativity” mean to you?

    My perspective on creativity is communication focused, so for me creativity always involves making a connection with an audience, even if that’s an audience of one.

     

    To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

    A creative idea uses imagination to connect with others in meaningful ways. It engages heart and mind, expresses your truth. It builds trust so that your audience is open enough to hear you, so that they can recognize a piece of themselves and their truth in your message.

     

    Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

    At Catchword, we use a proven process evolved over more than two decades working with clients in every sector. Whether we are providing brand naming services only or a comprehensive strategy, naming, and design package, we begin with discovery: a deep dive into the client, their offerings, their needs, and their marketspace via research and interviews. Once we’ve immersed ourselves and have a clear understanding of their business and business objectives, we help the client crystalize their positioning and messaging.

    For naming projects, we then work closely with the client to determine naming parameters, such as construction types (e.g., English words, invented words) and tonality. Developing this kind of creative brief is key for naming, copywriting, design, any creative project to ensure that your team and the client team are on the same page and to provide objectives by which to measure candidates. After the roadmap is sorted, we begin creative development.

    Over two rounds (broad followed by deep exploration), we create a staggering number of candidates, covering every viable name message, construction, personality, and style (because you don’t always know what you want until you see it.) Client feedback guides our second round so that we can really zero in on names that resonate. Once the client has narrowed the field, we conduct trademark prescreening and cultural/linguistic evaluation on a smaller list of candidates to check availability and avoid inappropriate associations. Our design and copywriting processes are similar.

     

    What’s your favorite part of the creative process and why?

    I love the blue sky creative phase. Turn off that internal critic and explore those tangents, pull every thread, go ahead down that rabbit hole, at least until another metaphor grabs you. One of the magnificent things about project-based work is that every project is different, there’s no end to the new things you can explore and learn about. Creative work not only benefits from curiosity, it rewards it, and namers are the kings and queens of the curious. …

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  3. Platinum & gold for Catchword in 2022 Hermes Creative Awards

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    Hermes Creative Awards Platinum

    Catchword is thrilled to announce wins for all four names entered in this year’s Hermes Creative Awards for excellence in brand naming.

    • Platinum for Caribou, the new name for MotoRefi, the fintech company that helps customers find the best value with all things auto
    • Gold for Vuity, the name of the game-changing new treatment from Allergan for age-related blurry vision
    • Gold for PerSe, the name of Semtech’s new portfolio of sensing technology
    • Honorable Mention for OTTO, the name of the automated digital manufacturing platform from Shapeways

     

    “We couldn’t be more delighted and proud to see these names recognized by such an esteemed international competition,” said Catchword principal Mark Skoultchi. “It’s especially gratifying that the judges gave top honors to such different styles of names—from Caribou, a highly evocative yet unexpected metaphor, to Vuity, a gentle coinage that clearly and instantly communicates the brand message.”

    Hermes Creative Awards platinum trophyThe Hermes Creative Awards recognizes outstanding work by creative professionals in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media. More than 6,500 entries competed in 2022 from more than a dozen countries.

    Hermes Creative Awards Gold

    The competition is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), which consists of thousands of marketing, communication, branding, advertising, PR, and media production professionals. The name Hermes (the Greek messenger god) and the idea for the award statuette were chosen to represent our roles as the messengers and creators of marketing and communication materials.

     

  4. TikTok Effect House in Adweek

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    TikTok Opens Effect House Beta to All Creators on Its Platform

    More than 450 creators published effects in the early beta, resulting in over 1.5 billion videos

    TikTok said Tuesday that its Effect House beta is now open to all effect creators on its platform.

    The early beta of Effect House resulted in more than 450 effect creators publishing effects on the platform, inspiring the creation of over 1.5 billion videos that were viewed more than 600 billion times globally.

    TikTok explained in a blog post Tuesday, “Creative effects are part of what makes it so fun to create on TikTok. Whether you’re teleporting into new worlds with Green Screen or freeze-framing with Time Warp Scan, creative effects empower creators to express themselves, entertain and share stories through a wide array of engaging and immersive formats. To expand what’s possible with effects, we created Effect House—a platform that allows anyone to build community effects for TikTok. Effect House has been in closed beta since last fall, and today we’re excited to open the beta to all creators, designers and developers from around the world, inviting them to imagine new frontiers for TikTok’s effects universe.” …

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  5. TikTok Effect House in TechCrunch

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    TikTok launches its own AR development platform, Effect House

    Last August, TechCrunch noted TikTok was working to build its own augmented reality (AR) development platform called Effect House, which would allow creators to build AR effects for use in TikTok’s video app. Today, Effect House has officially gone live. The platform has been operating in a close beta since last fall, where it’s so far been adopted by more than 450 creators who have gone on to publish their effects on TikTok, where they’ve been used in 1.5 billion videos gaining over 600 billion views globally, says TikTok. …

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  6. What happened to all the ‘good’ drug names?

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    What happened to all the ‘good’ drug names? Inside the modern day dilemma of Rx naming

    Prescription drug names often spark speculation, debates and sometimes derision, but they also stir curiosity.

    That’s maybe never been more evident than during the Covid-19 pandemic, when vaccine names were dissected everywhere from Zoom water-cooler chats to late night TV talk show monologues. …

    “Coming up with new names in pharma that are appropriate and available is just so hard. What you see happening now is that many new drug names are like alphabet soup—because they’re just the only things that are available,” said Laurel Sutton, a linguist and co-founder of naming agency Catchword who also serves as the president of American Name Society. …

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  7. Bridgespan Group in New York Times

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    The Fortunes of MacKenzie Scott

    Three decades after worrying about making rent, she is now giving away billions — all while trying to keep herself out of the spotlight.

    The billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott once recounted, in a television interview, a Chinese folk tale sometimes known as “The Lost Horse.” The story is about the reversals of fortune a farmer experiences after his prized stallion runs away. It can also be read as a summary of her philosophy. …

    Nonprofits soon began receiving calls and emails about enormous grants from an anonymous donor, often the biggest donation in the group’s history or the equivalent of a full year’s budget. Some of those approaches were from staff at the influential nonprofit consultancy Bridgespan, others from representatives at Lost Horse. The chosen charities were told they could not announce the gifts until the donor did. …

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  8. Catchword takes gold and silver in MUSE Creative Awards 2022

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    MUSE Creative Awards 2022 logoCatchword is delighted to announce that the MUSE Creative Awards has recognized three names we developed for excellence in corporate identity—Gold for Vuity (the revolutionary eye drop from Allergan for age-related blurry near vision), Silver for PerSe (Semtech’s line of sensing technologies for mobile devices), and Silver for OTTO (the 3D printing platform from Shapeways that automates manufacturing).

    With more than 6,000 entries from around the globe, the 2022 awards honored outstanding creative achievement in advertising, branded content, marketing & promotional, social media, typography, video, website, and more, as well as corporate identity.

    “We’re thrilled that MUSE has again called out our brand naming work for creative excellence,” said Catchword principal Maria Cypher. “We couldn’t be prouder of these three new product names, which have already gained great recognition in their industries.”

    This is the third year in a row that Catchword has earned a MUSE award for corporate identity: brand naming, putting the total at five statuettes. Earlier winners include URSA: Music Extreaming and Ply Gem ELEMENTS.

    The MUSE Awards is a series of competitions open to agencies from around world, which promotes excellence in advertising, marketing & communications, design, hospitality & tourism, and photography.

    Each MUSE Awards entry is evaluated by an international panel of leading industry professionals in a blind setting. Entries are not directly compared to each other, but judged according to standards relevant to their field.

    The theme foMUSE Creative Awards gold statuetteMUSE Creative Awards statuetter the 2022 awards was “Stride Forth—What drives you in this changed world?” and exhorted creatives to find their stride in adversity.

    “The level of refinement and the depth of completion truly represent the best of the creative and design industries,” Thomas Brandt, spokesperson of MUSE Awards parent IAA, noted in a release. He added, “IAA commends all our entrants for their dedication to their crafts, and may their unceasing passions further the limits of creativity and design.”

     

     

     

  9. Intel Arc in PCWorld

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    Can Intel Arc shake up the depressingly bleak state of graphics cards?

    A new player arrives right when we need it.

    The graphics card duopoly ended this week. For the first time in decades, we’re staring at a true three-way battle for gaming supremacy. Yes, Intel makes discrete graphics cards now. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as desktop gaming feels increasingly expensive and painful, and the unorthodox launch of Intel’s Arc graphics drives home that Chipzilla is plotting its ascent in very strategic ways.

    Hopefully this fight rejuvenates the consumer graphics card space with a much-needed breath of fresh air. Things were looking bleak even before scalpers and chip shortages descended on us all. …

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  10. Art Basel Announces Name + Directors of New Paris Fair

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    Art Basel’s Paris fair, which launches at the Grand Palais Éphémère in October, will not be called ‘Art Basel Paris’.

    During a public competition organised by the Réunion des musées nationaux to host the contemporary and modern art fair, they were told that such a name wouldn’t fly. The city had to come first.

    Instead, it will be called ‘Paris+, par Art Basel’. …

    The addition of a ‘+’ to brand names is trendy, especially among streaming services such as Apple TV+, Disney+, and ESPN+.

    ‘The value of + is that it implies more, better, premium, without being specific as to content, scale, or degree of premium-ness,’ explained Maria Cypher, creative director at naming company Catchword, speaking to Time in 2020.

    But its vagueness is also a downside, as Catchword’s co-founder Laurel Sutton told Fortune in 2019.

    ‘It doesn’t tell you what you’re getting; it doesn’t say why it’s different,’­ Sutton said. ‘It’s just adding a superlative on the end—like saying “ultra” or “supreme” or “better”.’ …

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