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  • Named a Top 10 Marketing Book of 2014 on
  • Growing need: Every year, 6 million companies and more than 100,000 retail products are launched—they all need a name that people can spell, pronounce and remember.
  • Simple and effective: Watkins shows you how evaluate a potential name using her SMILE and SCRATCH Test—two acronyms representing the positive and negative qualities to look for

Too many new companies and products have names that look like the results of a drunken Scrabble® game (Xobni, Svbtle, Doostang). In this entertaining and engaging book, ace naming consultant Alexandra Watkins explains how anyone—even non-creative types—can create memorable and effective brand names. No degree in linguistics required.

The heart of the book is Watkins' proven SMILE & SCRATCH Test, as featured in the Wall Street Journal and Inc. A great name makes you SMILE because it’s: Suggestive – evokes a positive brand experience; Meaningful – your customers “get it”; uses Imagery – visually evocative to aid in memory; has Legs – lends itself to a theme for extended mileage, and is Emotional – moves people.

A bad name, on the other hand, makes you SCRATCH your head because it’s: Spelling-challenged – looks like a typo; Copycat – similar to competitors’ names; Restrictive – limits future growth; Annoying – frustrates customers; Tame – flat, uninspired; suffers from the Curse of Knowledge – only insiders get it, and is Hard-to-pronounce.

Watkins also provides up-to-date advice, like making sure that Siri spells your name correctly. And you’ll see dozens of examples, the good, the bad, and the “so bad she gave them an award.” Alexandra Watkins is not afraid to name names.