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Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick Paperback – September 15, 2014
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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"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.”
“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
Naming a business or product has always been challenging―and sometimes costly―for entrepreneurs and inventors, but it’s one of the most important decisions they have to make. Alexandra Watkins presents a foolproof model that anyone can use to create and evaluate brand names like a pro.
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Before you spend another $10 on a domain name, or over $1000 on a trademark registration, buy and read this book (order copies for everyone involved in your company's branding process, too).
So I started Googling for every possible site on naming your business and I came across hundreds of articles. Unfortunately, 99.99% of all I found was useless. Then I heard about this book.
Once I got it and read it, I literally said to myself...
"I wish I read this book YEARS ago!"
It's not a big book at all, which I think is a plus.
Instead, it's a no-fluff guide to coming up with really awesome business names. Don't expect boring advice like adding "ly" or deleting vowels in your name like every other startup brand these days.
With this book, you'll come up with shocking and fun names that really make you feel something once you read them.
Apparently, the author is a former Ogilvy & Mather copywriter. So you're not going to get weird mathematical formulas either. She treats her brand names like she would a million dollar headline. It's all about emotions and being remembered.
That means amazing brand names, which there are many examples of inside this book. There are also tons of examples of what makes a bad name. Honestly, this could have been called "The Definitive Guide To Coming Up With Amazing Brand Names Fast", because it is. Of course, its current title is better.
With that said, I can't recommend this book enough.
If you're looking to come up with a new business name, there's no better resource.
Her method may be a bit unorthodox - mostly because she's using Internet in her daily routine, and back when all the orthodox methods came to be, Internet weren't there yet - and certainly I was taught different in my university, but turns out Alexandra knows better.
She writes very clearly and give step-by-step instructions, which are pretty easy to follow. I did everything she wrote, and I must confess that at first I had no good results - just couldn't come up with a fine name, Alexandra's method or not - so after a couple days I stopped thinking about the names and the process, to let my unconscious do the job.
And then one sunny day after about a week, it just pops into my mind, the perfect word I was looking for, and a slogan to go along with it - everything complicit with Alexandra's list of a good name's qualities. I needed a two-word name, and used the method again to come with the second word, which only took couple of evenings more.
So, the resume: I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone who needs to come up with a fine name, it's totally worth the money, and I am very glad that I own it now.