Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Houston, We Have A Naming Problem!

Our good friend and fellow name pro, Phil Davis of Tungsten Marketing, beat us to the punch by posting this in his blog. (His post was also picked up by CNN and we wanted to give it a shout out as well.)

Houston, We Have a Naming Problem!

The amazing story just broke today that “astronomers at NASA and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used direct-imaging techniques to capture pictures of newly discovered planets orbiting stars outside our solar system.” The names of these new found cosmic neighbors?




These are not to be confused with the mother star they circle… HF8799. (And people thought Sarah Palin had naming issues.) It’s not bad enough that beloved Pluto got booted from our solar system’s list of the planetary elite. But now these distant alphanumeric newcomers are pulling rank on our former ninth planet? If they deserve planetary status, then don’t they also deserve good names?

Since they are a mere 130 light years from earth, in the constellation Pegasus, and seven to ten times the mass of Jupiter, why not brand them by size…




Even Dr. Seuss was able to come up with Cat A, B and C. So why can’t NASA have a good trio of planetary brands? They could use legacy names such as…

Planets Armstrong, Shepard, and Glenn.

Or celebrity names…

Peter. Paul. Mary.

Moon. Unit. Zappa.

They could get Disney sponsorship money by naming them Planets Huey, Dewey and Louie. Or by referring to them collectively as The Disney Worlds. Planet Hollywood could sponsor one of them by calling it… well you get the idea.

So help our left minded team in Houston come up with some right brain ideas for these future travel destinations. Post your suggestions for these three planet names, and the winner will receive a handsome Tungsten Branding coffee mug and possible interplanetary immortality. I can’t promise that NASA will launch these new brand names, but it’s worth a try.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alexandra wows

Powwow Alexandra Watkins chosen as November's Featured Member is the brainchild of Dava Guthmiller. In 2004, Dava invited 14 women to her office to exchange ideas and discuss the challenges of running a small business. is now over 400 strong and growing.

Their goal is to support the success of its members by:

  • Creating a supportive and positive learning environment
  • Empowering through education and exchange of ideas
  • Increasing the visibility of its members
  • Giving back to the Bay Area community of women

Alexandra is pleased to be featured and proud to be involved with such an important organization.

Below is Alexandra's Pow Wow profile & interview..

Alexandra Watkins

Alexandra is the founder of Eat My Words, creating brand names that generate buzz and revenue. She is also a Make Mine a Million $ Business Awardee. Congratulations Alexandra!

Why did you start your own biz?

I saw a huge opportunity in the marketplace to create brand names that were likeable and conceptual as opposed to the mangled, unapproachable words that old-school naming and branding firms invent using Latin and linguistics.

What did you do before you started your own business?
I was an advertising copywriter for 15+ years, where I mastered the art of creating clever headlines grab attention. Our names have the same effect. They are instantly likeable, make powerful emotional connections, and are absolutely unforgettable.

What was a challenge or obstacle to start your own business?
A few naysayers didn’t think I could sustain myself by only creating names and taglines. They said I needed to keep copywriting in the mix. I loved proving them wrong. Some people would say not having a college education would be a challenge, but I disagree. Unlike other namers who have degrees in linguistics and understand Latin, I have not been tainted by “The Curse of Knowledge.”

What is one thing that is responsible for the success of your business?
Creativity. Although I cite passion as being a key factor of my success, without my creativity, I wouldn’t have a portfolio of wildly creative names and taglines that is unmatched by any other naming firm. My creativity has also allowed me to build my business through innovative marketing approaches.

In your opinion, what makes women good business owners, and what holds them back?
The best women business owners are fearless. They are not afraid to charge what they are worth, speak their mind, or compete in a man’s world. The major downfalls of many women business owners are they have low self-esteem, don’t know how to negotiate, aren’t financially saavy, and are afraid they will hurt someone’s feelings if they ask for more money.

What are a few tips you’d give a woman starting her own business today?
1. Do not launch your business until you have professional business cards printed and a polished website up, which have been designed by a true identity designer who understands the importance of having a cohesive brand. You only have one chance to make a first impression.

2. Make sure the name of your business sounds like a brand name as opposed to your own name. When you sell your company 20 years from now, it will be much harder to sell if your name is attached to it and you won’t be there any more.

3. Don’t give up on a great brand name if the domain name is out of reach. No one expects a company to have the exact dot com any more. Just as we ran out of 800#s for toll-free calls, everyone knows the free-and-clear dot coms are a thing of the past.

What are your goals for the business?
Our long term vision is to become the most widely influential naming firm in the industry and get businesses to stop naming their companies things like Learnia, Xohm, and QualComm.

Our short-term goal is to get on the radar of more consumer package goods clients who have on-going naming needs.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Our many naming successes include Spoon Me frozen yogurt, Neato home cleaning robots, Monkey Dunks dips for kids, Cake Financial, Bloom energy drink, Frigid ice cream, an iPod clock radio named Moondance, a luxury-on-installment website named Venue, Stuff a Sock In It laundromat, Mixin’ Vixens bartenders, and Wavelength, a forum for the world’s most progressive companies and social entrepreneurs.

We are the only naming firm who monetizes names. For instance, Spoon Me is making a fortune selling Spoon Me t-shirts, sportswear, pajamas and booty shorts.

Our adoring clients include Del Monte, Frito Lay, Altec Lansing, Guthy Renker, SIGG water bottles and Intercontinental Hotels Group.

Our SMILE & SCRATCH name evaluation test has been featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Our wildly colorful loft office has been featured on TV, design books, and magazines.

I didn’t go to college and am an inspiration to women everywhere that you CAN be successful without a college education.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Violent Offender: Cranergy

We have come up with a new name for the worst Head Scratchers - "Violent Offenders." These are the names that are bad beyond belief. The first contender is the new drink from Ocean Spray called CRANERGY, the forced combination of CRANBERRY and ENERGY. What old-school naming firm got Ocean Spray to drink the Kool-aid and actually believe that this trainwreck of a name is good? Too bad Ocean Spray didn't run this name through the Eat My Words SMILE & SCRATCH Test and save themselves the misery of a bad name and expense of pouring millions of dollars into advertising so consumers will actually remember the name.

Falapalooza Party a Scorching Success

Our annual Fallapalooza cocktail party was a huge success, with nearly 80 guests at the Eat My Words party pad, including Eat My Words' Gina, Rena and bartender Tina. Held on a warm fall evening, the outdoor patio was the perfect place to marvel at Chef Ciado cook his delicious paella and sip homemade Sangria. Guests included clients and friends from Landor, Perspective Branding, Deutsch Design Works, OnRequestImages, USA Today, Aerielle, Smart Design, Firewood, Sandbox Suites, and Wunderman

Here's what you missed...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Alexandra Fashions Naming Advice

We love Project Runway, so when Alexandra was asked to share her naming style to the fashion trade, she stitched together a stunning ready-to-wear tailored collection....

How To Create Brand Names That Stick

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 5, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Today’s guest entry is written by Alexandra Watkins, CIO of Eat My Words . After writing advertising copy for 20+ years, including five years at Ogilvy and Mather -where she flogged everything from Microsoft to Mighty Dog- Alexandra got hooked on naming when Gap hired her to create cheeky names for their first line of body care products. Since then she’s generated thousands of names for snacks, software, sunscreen, social networking sites, sportswear, shoes, sugar scrubs, serums, and seafood -and that’s just the S’s!

Click here for full post.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Palin Bailin'

Someone from Alaska, who has the same name as someone who works for the Central Committee of the Alaskan Republican Party, has purchased the following domain names:

Scarier still is that the domains were purchased on August 24, 2007.