AuthorConnect Chat: Alexandra Watkins on How to Make a Name Stick

Alexandra Watkins AuthorConnect Chat

Does your brand name pass the SMILE and SCRATCH test?

Love at first sight can occur between two people, but it should also occur with a client and your brand name. According to Alexandra Watkins, brand name expert and founder of Eat My Words, people should be exclaiming, “I freaking love it” when referring to your brand name.

Alexandra’s insightful branding book, Hello My Name is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names that Stick, is based on a philosophy that a name should make you smile instead of scratch your head. With a 12-point name evaluation filter called “The Smile Scratch Test,” Alexandra elaborates on how to make a name stand out:


This acronym contains the five qualities that make a name great: it should be Suggestive and Memorable, have Imagery and Legs, and be Emotional.

The stickiest names are associated with words and concepts that are already familiar to us. Coming up with a theme for a name can make it have legs and extend the brand with creativity. “Take something that is dry and inject some personality into it and see what can happen,” says Alexandra.


These are the seven deal breakers for when to scratch a name off the list: it should not be Spelling challenged, a Copycat, Restrictive, Annoying, Tame, have Curse of knowledge, or be Hard to pronounce.

Simple things like making sure that your name is not a replica of another or hard to pronounce can be key factors in what can make it great: “half the bottle is coming up with a great name, the other half of the bottle is selling it in and getting people to agree on it.”

Whether you are trying to come up with a name for your restaurant menu, extravagant hotel venue, or even your future child, Alexandra’s book helps navigate through all of the potential names and guides you step by step on what and what not to do.


For the full AuthorConnect Chat, check out the video below. Purchase copies of Hello, My Name is Awesome to learn more about how to make your brand name the best it can be.

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This post was written by Myrna Alcantar, the marketing intern at BookPal.  She is currently reading The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

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