10 Reasons to Choose Catchword

Catchword is a trusted leader in naming, with two decades of experience creating memorable and impactful names for clients worldwide. Our value proposition is, quite simply: the best names, delivered by the most experienced professionals.

But what specifically sets Catchword apart? Glad you asked. Here are 10 things:

1. A proven process for creating stand-out names. Despite landmines such as trademark and domain-name clearance, linguistic appropriateness, multiple decision-makers, and human subjectivity, our process—honed over many years—delivers creative, strategic, and ownable names.

2. Decades (and decades) of naming experience. Founded in 1998, we got our start in the earliest days of the industry, and we’ve since helped to establish some of its best practices. Our partners average over 20 years, and collectively, our team approaches a full century of experience.

3. More names than you ever thought possible. For a full project, we typically develop thousands of names, exploring directions, constructions, and languages you had no idea would be so compelling, while significantly upping the odds that you’ll have a great name (or three) standing after full legal clearance.

4. Ability to work successfully with all types of clients, from titans like Intel, McDonald’s, and VW to startups, mid-sized companies, VCs, and nonprofits. This means we’re as comfortable briefing with global teams as we are meeting with a single entrepreneur in temporary office space.

5. Trademark expertise. Let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t be calling us if trademark availability were a walk in the park. You need someone with extensive practical experience in global trademark issues, the ability to steer creative away from overcrowded semantic areas, and a network of trademark professionals for prescreening and full searches.

6. Creative versatility. Our name styles span the spectrum, from descriptive to abstract, playful to professional. We’d never be so diva as to say we only use real words, or that the letter Q is passé. Our work is finely tuned to each company’s culture, market space, strategic objectives, and legal and global realities.

7. Flexibility to scale up or down. We recognize that client needs and timelines vary, and we’ll work with you to determine the best process for your project. This can range from a burst of creative for an early market research initiative, to a robust process that includes naming strategy, multiple creative rounds and presentations, and validation.

8. Strategic thinking that reflects deep market understanding. For us, naming isn’t just about creativity. It’s a critical business exercise involving a company’s most important assets. Our names don’t just sound cool; they solve important business challenges and address vital market needs.

9. Communication. We’re not the black-box type. In order to name your company or product, we’ll need to get to know you—and your culture, competition, personal preferences, and more. We’ll respond to your questions and concerns promptly, and we’ll guide you through what can be a challenging process with clear, efficient communication.

10. Naming is our everything. It isn’t a loss leader that we throw in to attract clients to pricier brand offerings. It’s what we do and what we love. And that’s more than enough. Having an exclusive focus on naming—and with it, trademark, domain, linguistics, strategy, and research—makes us the very best at it.

Catchword Top Naming Agency 2017

How to Work with a Naming Company

Latest Name Review

We’re all familiar with the non-English words used as brand names, like Kijiji, Bodega, Prego, or Uber. We’re probably more familiar with intentionally misspelled words used as brand names, like Tumblr or Lyft.

Non-English names (especially European and specifically French-derived) can signal elegance, and are often used in fashion. Misspelling can be a cue that the company is techy, or an upstart.

With Phlur, you get both.

From www.Phlur.com

A misspelling of fleur, the French word for flower, Phlur is hoping you will be willing to skip the trip to the department store and buy cologne online. Specifically, Phlur’ll sell you some samples on the cheap, and then give you a discount on full bottles once you find the scent you like.

We usually stick to reviewing newborn names. Phlur has been around for over a year, but saw renewed press recently due to a round of fundraising. Since the name was a bold choice, here we are.

Both non-English names and misspelled names are meant to be surprising; they ask the consumer to go on a little journey with the brand. They are meant to make you take a second look. When well executed, consumers like that. But the heart of the matter is this: can English-speaking consumers handle a non-English name that is ALSO misspelled?

Zappos is one pseudo-precedent. The name comes from zapato, the Spanish word for shoes. But Zappos has many of the hallmarks of a good name in its own right: it has a double letter, a memorable Z to kick it off, and it’s fun to say.

Phlur doesn’t have that. Phlur is awkward to read, and the pronunciation takes work to decipher. We just aren’t used to that letter combination; the only word I can think of that starts with “phl” is “phlegm.” (A quick jaunt through Webster’s also cues me in to phlebitis, which believe me, you don’t want to contract.)

The scent names they’ve created are all elegant, and the copy is cheeky but informative. The scent Hanami, for example, is descibed as “Effervescent and ethereal; a butterfly ice skating.” That’s all great, but the name Phlur just isn’t quite elegant enough, and doesn’t read as playful and cheeky enough to be the face of the otherwise well-branded brand.

Finding an available trademark and domain name is always difficult, and doing so with a misspelled non-English name would be, in theory, much easier than with most other naming directions. (The options are less limited because the territory is relatively uncharted.) Perhaps that was a motivator for the company’s choice of Phlur. Exploring this territory for a company name could be a good call but only if you can develop one that works well on all levels, including pronunciation by English speakers.

I’ll tell you one thing. Phlur definitely got its domain name for free.

Both non-English names and misspelled names are meant to be surprising; they ask the consumer to go on a little journey with the brand. They are meant to make you take a second look. When well executed, consumers like that. But the heart of the matter is this: can English-speaking consumers handle a non-English name that is ALSO misspelled?

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