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 and domain name services. 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. And domain name availability can be just as challenging, which is why we create names with a greater likelihood of domain availability and routinely assist clients with acquisition, assessment, and brokering of .com and other domains.

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

Philips Lighting has changed its name to Signify. Why is this significant?

First, a little background: in 2016, Philips Lighting was spun off from the Netherlands-based multinational Philips Corporation (which was founded in 1891 by a Philips father and son team).

Catchword name review of SignifySignify is retaining the Philips brand for their products, like Philips Hue. You may have heard of this colorful, smart-home enabled lights platform, which is perhaps the greatest innovation in home ambience control since the dimmer switch.

The company has well over a hundred years of name equity, the products are retaining the Philips name, and, aside from GE, Philips is the most recognizable brand in bulbs … so why make the change?Catchword name review of Signify

Brand authenticity and trust are important yet expansive concepts that can be conveyed in many ways. Names grounded in a place successfully convey authenticity and trust (sugarers from Vermont can charge about 10% more for their syrup because they get to put the word Vermont on the label). Refreshing honesty can convey that too (dating app Bumble is perfectly honest about the awkwardness of dating). One common method is the use of personal names in the company name. That was how company’s were named for centuries. But in this regard, consumer preferences are changing. Last name — especially staid or formal-sounding names — as brand name can now be a detriment, depending on the industry. The use of first names is increasing exponentially. Think Oscar (healthcare), Harry’s (shave club), Tom’s (toothpaste and deodorant), Burt’s Bees, or James & Erin (Amazon house clothing brand).

Another aspect of last-name brand names is they don’t generally convey responsiveness or innovation. Sometimes that doesn’t matter or even is a positive. Are you in an industry that hasn’t changed much, like glass windows? Anderson is just fine. Are you a posh haberdashery? Then Joe’s isn’t for you. Alcohol distiller brands benefit from the perception of history and tradition that comes with use of last names or full names — Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Jameson, and Smirnoff are even more potent than the products they label. (But note that even this sector is changing. The meteoric rise of Tito’s Vodka is a case in point.)

Back to formerly Philips Lighting. If this company sold basic LED bulbs (which are new-ish technology but resemble the kind of bulbs that have been around since Edison), Philips would be just fine. But since the company is making a name for itself in a cutting-edge aspect of the sector — smart-home, smart-phone enabled colored lighting — having a name that points only to its long legacy could be a detriment, especially if the company plans on continually driving the industry to new heights.

So the company split the difference. It is keeping Philips for products to leverage the brand equity, but changed the master brand to something more versatile that will allow it to launch any number of new products in the future with or without the name Philips.

But why Signify?

“The choice of our new company name originates from the way light becomes an intelligent language, which connects and conveys meaning,” said Signify CEO Eric Rondolat in a release. “It is a clear expression of our strategic vision and purpose to unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world.”

Sure, fine. Signify didn’t drop my jaw at first blush, but after some thought I found it surprisingly robust. It sounds positive, mildly energetic, and scientific. It doesn’t limit the company to a sector if it chooses to move beyond lighting. As a fairly short, real English word, it’s in keeping with the millennial-targeted naming trend (the theory being that short, lexical words convey simple authenticity, which are keys to the millennial heart, and wallet).

Note that the name Hue actually benefits from both the short, real English word and the first name trends if you consider sound alone (“Hugh”). Signify even markets the platform’s connectivity with home assistants like Alexa and Siri as “Friends of Hue.”

All in all, Signify is rather unexpected, which is a good thing — like family name brands, names that are too close to what you’d expect don’t convey innovation. I can live with Signify just fine; the real brilliance is in changing the company name.

The company has well over a hundred years of name equity, the products are retaining the Philips name, and, aside from GE, Philips is the most recognizable name in bulbs … so why make the change?

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