Can your name pass The SMILE & SCRATCH Test?

Posted by admin on March 18, 2008

The secret to powerful, unforgettable and sticky brand names is simple, “A name should make you smile, instead of scratch your head.” We evaluate every name we create based on this no-brainer philosophy – and now you can too with the new Eat My Words SMILE and SCRATCH TestTM. Run your own product and company names through the test and see how they hold up. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Most names fail because they are spelling-challenged, hard to pronounce, and meaningless to customers who don’t know Latin (which is just about everyone except for Alexandra’s mother). So cancel your focus groups and use this criteria any time you’re trying to objectively evaluate a name. You’ll instantly be able to see if you have a winning name or if you should scratch it off your list.

SMILE – the qualities of a powerful name
Simple – easy to spell, say, and understand
Meaningful – your customers instantly “get it”
Imagery – visually evocative – creates a picture in your mind
Legs – carries brand, rich wordplay, brand-extensions
Emotional – empowers, entertains, engages, enlightens

SCRATCH – scratch if it has any of these deal-breakers

Spelling-challenged – it’s not spelled the way it sounds
Copycat – similar to competitor’s names
Random – disconnected from the brand
Annoying – hidden meaning, forced
Tame – flat, uninspired, non-emotional, boring
Curse of Knowledge – only insiders get it
Hard-to-pronounce – not obvious, relies on punctuation

All of our names pass the test: Spoon Me, Neato, Monkey Dunks, Cake Financial, DayTipper, Dizzywood, Dash, and countless others. Do yours?

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