A winner of the American Express Make Mine a Million $ Business competition, Alexandra Watkins is the founder of Eat My Words, a creative naming firm featured multiple times in The Wall Street Journal and Inc. She is a frequent guest speaker at MBA programs and has presented at Stanford GSB, SF State, USF School of Management, and Proctor & Gamble alumni association. Previous to founding Eat My Words, Alexandra worked as a senior copywriter for many of the world's top advertising agencies including Ogilvy @ Mather, Miller Huber, GMO and Teleflora.
"Top 10 Marketing Book of 2014"
"Brand names can make a critical first impression, and naming
expert Watkins, founder of the naming firm Eat My Words, attempts
with this book to prove that even the "most noncreative person" can
conceive of something that will resonate with customers. She
examines all aspects of a brand name's commercial value, from how
easily it can be pronounced and recognized, to whether or not voice
recognition software will be able to spell it correctly. She uses
the acronyms SMILE (Suggestive, Meaningful, Imagery, Legs,
Emotional) and SCRATCH (Spelling challenged, Copycat, Restrictive,
Annoying, Tame, Curse of Knowledge, Hard to pronounce) to describe,
respectively, "sticky" and "deadly" qualities. Watkins also offers
examples of companies or products that hit the mark, like Pedigree
and Snuggle, and those that missed it, like Eukanuba and Xobni. She
provides advice for securing a good domain name and ideas to avoid.
Her most potentially valuable recommendation is for would-be
brand-name owners to create a "creative brief," a checklist of all
the elements that need to present. It defines the core
characteristics of an organization from target audience to
competition to "brand personality." Watkins also examines
brainstorming, "building consensus," and changing a name.
Jam-packed with sound advice, this slim volume can be the
difference between becoming a Target and becoming a Speesees."
--Publishers Weekly "Let's hear it for an author who clearly and succinctly explains how to do a critical business task rather than merely presenting historical examples for the hapless reader to puzzle out. Here, former Ogilvy advertising copywriter Watkins, founder of industry-leading naming company Eat My Words, expands considerably on the company and brand-naming tips posted on her website. In addition to explaining and illustrating her 12-point vetting process for potential names (e.g., cautioning that unpronounceable names will be mangled by Siri and other voice-recognition software), Watkins gives surpassingly solid advice about how to brainstorm potential names, root out probable bad choices, build consensus, and protect chosen brand names and URLS. Her reputation within the industry is apparent from her client list of prominent companies--Adobe, Microsoft, Disney, Marriott, and many more--and nonprofits. In one of the best chapters, the author walks readers through the multilayered processes she followed in generating a memorable name for Spoon Me yogurt. VERDICT: Useful for readers who are naming anything more important than a household pet."
--Library Journal (Elizabeth Wood, Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH) "This awesome piece of writing is worth bottling, shaking, and stirring into your brand-name strategy either online or offline. I love the way Alexandra weaves her voice and humor into a very clear message to distill what you are about into a business name. It can be applied to your brand name and domain name. Her process is coherent and creative. A brilliant book, I couldn't put down."
--Jeff Bullas, blogger, strategist, and speaker, Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer 2013, and Huffington Post Top 100 Business Twitter Account
"I was skeptical about a how-to book on naming products and brands. Alexandra Watkins convinced me otherwise. Her book is a fun read with lots of practical advice."
--Patricia Roller, angel investor and former Co-CEO, Frog Design
"Your company or product probably needs all the help it can get. Watkins helped me name my firm, and I'm constantly told what a great name it is. Don't pick a name until you've read Watkins's book--you'll want to have a name that you love forever!"
--Charlene Li, founder of Altimeter Group, author of Open Leadership, and coauthor of Groundswell
"The type of hands-on practical wisdom rarely found (but desperately needed) in the academic community."
--Michael Webber, Dean of the School of Management, University of San Francisco
"This is the perfect book for kick-starting entrepreneurs, brand managers, and practicing creatives."
--Pat Hanlon, founder and CEO, Thinktopia, and author of Primal Branding
"This book is packed full of practical, real-world advice you would never get from a regular textbook."
--Dale J. Stephens, founder of UnCollege and author of Hacking Your Education
"In the current crazy business climate, where standing out and being remembered are critical to success, your name had better be awesome. This is the best book on the subject."
--Nell Merlino, founder and President, Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence, and creator of Take Our Daughters to Work Day
"We've got a terrible name. No one can spell it. No one can pronounce it. Don't make the same mistake we made. Read this book and let Alexandra Watkins guide you away from the 'we thought we were being clever with our name, but now we just look silly' syndrome."
--Matt Ruby, founder and CEO, Vooza
"I got lucky when I bent all the rules and named my company. If you need help naming yours, Alexandra has some great advice."
--Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality "Zappos.com originally started out as ShoeSite.com, but that limited our potential future growth. A company's name can be vital to its success. Reading the tips in this book can help anyone avoid the pitfalls."
--Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO, Zappos.com, Inc. "Insightful, irreverent, and eminently practical, Watkins's Hello, My Name Is Awesome should be required reading for anyone naming a brand."
--S. Christian Wheeler, Professor of Marketing, Stanford Graduate School of Business