Hello My Name is Awesome by Alexandra Watkins

Rating: 8/10

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High-Level Thoughts

The most useful book on naming that I’ve found. Good to read for the stories and examples, but you could also use my summary.

Summary Notes

The Smile and Scrath Test

SMILE The 5 qualities of a super sticky name

  • Suggestive — evokes something about your brand
  • Meaningful — resonates with your audience
  • Has to be meaningful to the audience, too, not just youA long meaningful name is better than a short meaningless one
  • Imagery — is visually evocative to aid in memory
  • If people can visualize your brand with an image, it’s much stickier
  • Legs — lends itself to a theme for extended mileage
  • Emotional —moves people
  • If your brand makes people smile, you can stick it on anythingGrandma’s Chicken Soup > Chicken Soup

SCRATCH The 7 deadly sins of naming

  • Spelling challenged —looks like a typo
  • If it’s not spelled the way it sounds, scratch it offDon’t sacrifice spelling for a domain name
  • Copycat —is similar to competitors’ names
  • Restrictive —limits future growth
  • Choose a name that allows for future growth
  • Annoying —is forced or frustrates customers
  • Tame —is flat, descriptive, uninspired
  • Curse of Knowledge —makes sense only to insiders
  • Hard to pronounce —is not obvious or is unapproachable

Creative Brief

  1. Goal of project
  2. In a nutshell (sum it up in 140 characters or less)
  3. Brand positioning (how do you want your brand to be positioned in the market)
  4. Consumer insights (people’s behavior, not just preferences, people enjoy tea to relax and read with, not just for the flavor or smell)
  5. Target audience (who are the customers you want to reach)
  6. Competition (who and what you’re up against)
  7. Desired brand experience (a good name will evoke a positive experience)
  8. Bran personality (the 5-12 adjectives that best describe the personality of the brand)
  9. Words to explore (some words you may like to have in the name)
  10. Themes / ideas to avoid
  11. Words to avoid
  12. Domain name modifiers
  13. Name style likes (list 5 brand names you like the style of and why)
  14. Name style dislikes (5 you dislike and why)
  15. Acid test, how the new name would be used in a sentence
  16. Have you read ?
  17. Oh you should read _
  18. I loved _, it’s a useful book
  19. Also good to know (anything else that would be helpful for name development)

Brainstorming Process

  1. Target Audience
  2. Brand Personality
  3. Consumer insights, what do we know about potential customers
  4. Brand experiences, how people will feel with it
  5. Words to avoid
  6. The warm up – 12 words related to your brand that you life
  7. For each word:
  8. Go to the thesauraus and plug it in, write down any other great words you find
  9. Go to Google Images and search for images related to the words you like
  10. Comb through glossaries of terms related to the images and words
  11. Read the dictionary definitions for more ideas and to find related phrases
  12. Find cliches that use the word
  13. Look through songs, books, movies with the words in them
  14. Collect all your name ideas from 7, see what passes the SMILE and SCRATCH test, and see what you like!

The Name Review

  • Write out how the name might be used in a sentence at the top
  • Don’t ask “do I like it?” but ask “is it right?”
  • Refrain from negative comments
  • Don’t ask for outside opinions, or post surveys. If you ask everyone to chime in, you will end up with a mediocre name that met with the least resistance rather than the very best name.
  • Don’t be afraid to be different (Google, Virgin, Lush, Tesla, Apple)
  • Don’t look up domain names early, you can always modify it (teslamotors, steampowered, slideshare.net)

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