Tongue-In-Cheek Guide to Brand Name and Trademark Development Puts Companies in Driver’s Seat

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Ever wonder how companies come up with names for their brands? Catchword, a leading bicoastal naming company, has lifted the veil on this little-understood aspect of marketing with its new how-to guide to the art of creating names.

The tongue-in-cheek “Brand Name Owner’s Manual,” which is patterned after a car owner’s manual, is an information-packed resource for anyone involved in the stewardship of brands—or simply fascinated by naming—and is free for the asking. The manual shares tips on most aspects of brand naming, from the creative process itself to clearing legal hurdles and avoiding missteps in other languages and cultures. And it does it all with a wink, under the guise of a car owner’s manual: where headings such as the “Flat Name Indicator Gauge,” “Premature Infatuation Warning Light,” “High Competitive Pressure Warning Gauge,” and “Losing Your Cool-Ant Warning Light” cover the most common naming conundrums.

“Not only is it laugh out loud funny . . . beneath the humor, there’s some pretty sage advice for getting the most out of your naming process, whether you’re doing it yourself or relying on experts,” says Gil Hanson, branding strategist and president of Hanson Associates, a Philadelphia design firm that specializes in consumer marketing and corporate identity programs.

A “bonus” section about car names reveals the naming themes and strategies most commonly used by automobile manufacturers, and the origins of common car names. For example, the Cadillac Allante is derived from the French “allant,” meaning “dynamic,” and Nissan’s Pulstar is a melding of “pulsating” or “pulse” and “star.”

“Although most companies still do best to consult a naming firm, the idea behind the manual is to provide an entertaining and practical guide that illuminates both the complexities and the nuances of the naming business,” said Mark Skoultchi, Principal and East Coast Managing Director of Catchword, and author of the guide. “I hope our readers enjoy the ride.”

Catchword is a full-service naming firm with offices in California and New York that has “driven” hundreds of high-profile product and company naming projects since its inception in 1998. For a free hard copy of the Brand Name Owner’s Manual or more information about Catchword, visit or or contact Laurel Sutton (510-628-0080 x105) or Mark Skoultchi (212-472-8936).


Laurel Sutton