Strategic Services

Good names arise out of a deep, strategic understanding of a brand. Every time Catchword develops a new name, we start with strategy. We begin by reviewing the company or product positioning with the client, and refining it if needed. We analyze the competitive naming landscape and identify opportunities for differentiation. We determine whether the new name will fit into existing product families, naming protocols, or name styles.

Strategy is front and center to every Catchword naming project, but sometimes you need deeper or more focussed strategic guidance.

A clearer naming architecture for your portfolio will make it easier for customers to find the products they want, and easier for you to add new ones.

Creating a naming protocol is the key for naming product families, co-branded products, line extensions, and project code names, so you’re not reinventing the wheel each time you’re faced with a naming challenge.

We also offer other strategic naming services, including

  • assessing whether you even need a name for your new product!
  • identifying opportunities for brand consolidation
  • recommending a naming style (descriptive, proprietary, alphanumeric, etc.)
  • evaluating the viability of names developed in-house
  • determining linguistic and cultural implications for taking a brand global
  • maximizing internal buy-in and external interest in your name launch
Naming Architecture

Like a well-designed house, naming architecture should be welcoming and intuitive, so it’s easy for customers to find their way to the brands they want. Too often, though, when companies have lots of long-standing brands, their portfolio becomes a maze of names that’s off-putting to potential customers and confusing to internal audiences.

That’s where we come in. Our process includes discussions with stakeholders, an exhaustive review of the existing portfolio of brand names and those of key competitors, and an assessment of which areas need streamlining or clarifying. We then develop a range of architectural options for consideration. Once a model is chosen and refined, we’ll develop guidelines for determining when new names are warranted, and a naming protocol for how they’ll be developed.

The result is a flexible yet consistent structure for housing all of your brand names that clarifies the relationships between different brands, maximizes your budget (by eliminating unnecessary proprietary names that require expensive marketing), and simplifies future naming efforts.

Naming Protocol

Like their social counterparts, naming protocols make life simpler by providing decision trees so that you know exactly what to do when a particular naming challenge arises.

Some common challenges include

  • Name categorization: master brand versus sub-brand
  • Family naming conventions: use of words, alphanumerics, or numbers
  • In-house naming procedures: steps, checkpoints, and vetting
  • Name usage: consistency in use of company name, trademark symbols, and abbreviations
  • Co-branding: process for creating and implementing names
  • Code-naming: guidelines for choosing project names that won’t turn into real names

Having clear naming protocol in place will grease the wheels of your naming process, keep your naming portfolio orderly, and control the way your brand names are used in traditional and social media.

Name Audit  

If you want to get the most out of your existing brand names, or take advantage of weaknesses or gaps in the competitive landscape, it helps to get the 30,000-foot perspective. We offer both internal and competitive name audits for clients who want the big picture.

Internal name audits
An internal name audit can answer all sorts of questions you may not even think to ask. For instance:

  • How many trademarks do you own?
  • How many of them are current?
  • Are all your product names being used correctly in collateral and other marketing?
  • Are there names on your website that you don’t even know about?
  • Do you really own all the domains you think you do?

Internal name audits include IP assessments (of trademarks, domain names, licensed names, and co-branding), reviews of internal and external communications, analysis of existing names, and most importantly, recommendations for improving name equity, management, and marketing.

Competitive name audits
Or you may want to know what your competition is up to and how their names stack up against yours. Becoming familiar with their naming styles and the organization and structure of their brand name portfolio will help you understand what they—and you—are doing right and wrong.

Competitive name audits include an in-depth analysis of the naming strategies of up to five competitors followed by an analysis of the competitive naming landscape as a whole. We also provide clients with a summary of opportunities to differentiate from competitors and ways to improve current naming practices.

How to Evaluate a Brand Name.

Blog

Catchword is proud to announce that for the second year in a row, Clutch – the leading provider of ratings and reviews for creative agencies – has ranked Catchword as #1 among Global Leaders in the naming industry.

“The caliber of Catchword’s clients, paired with its consistent high marks for all elements of naming and superior client relationships, have kept the company in the top 3 for naming companies from the start,” said Clutch Business Analyst Jenna Seter. “They can now boast that they’re the first naming company to rank at the top for two consecutive years!”

With 29 reviews from blue chip clients such as Corning, BlackBerry, and Plantronics, Catchword averaged a perfect 5 stars across the four categories of Quality, Schedule, Cost, and Willingness to Refer — landing the company in the top spot in a field of 615 naming-service providers.

Clutch evaluates each agency through questionnaires and in-depth phone interviews with vetted clients, along with an analysis of market presence and overall experience. The client and project details in these reviews provide valuable, specific insights for potential clients and are thus more useful than simple testimonials or star ratings alone. Clutch’s platform now dominates the creative agency review space.

“Naturally, the whole Catchword team is thrilled to take the top position again,” said Catchword principal Mark Skoultchi. “However, even more exciting is the incredibly positive and thoughtful feedback our clients have provided about their experience working with us and the quality of our work. We couldn’t be more grateful.”

We’re delighted to ring out our 20th anniversary year with this validation, and we look forward to continuing to do the work we love for our outstanding clients.

“The caliber of Catchword’s clients, paired with its consistent high marks for all elements of naming and superior client relationships, have kept the company in the top 3 for naming companies from the start,” said Clutch Business Analyst Jenna Seter.

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