Don’t Call It That!
Eli Altman of A Hundred Monkeys, warns the reader not to pick a boring name.
And that… guess what…“everybody judges books by their covers”.
This 126 page Workbook is full of advice and exercises.
At the end you too could have a world beating brand name.
I give it a 4/5.
Onto the full review…
The book contains a series of exercises, surrounded by explanatory text.
It’s a short 126 pages and a quick, easy read.
And there’s space to write down your ideas as you read through.
The exercises are well thought out and guide you through the naming process well.
How To Avoid Bad Names!
“Fail Early” is perhaps my favorite chapter.
Here Eli gets you thinking about bad names for your project.
The idea… To get you thinking about “what makes a good name”.
He highlights poor name types including overly descriptive and meaningless url driven names.
A great idea IMHO, which should help you later on in the naming process.
Make Em Think!
Eli advocates less easy to spell, pronounce or understand names.
Stating that “…the easier a name is to spell or pronounce or recognize or understand or label, the easier it is to forget”
Many great companies do have names like this, think Häagen-Dazs.
Although I’m not 100% sure that this works for all brands.
.COM Domain Names Debunked!
As it turns out you don’t always need a perfect .com.
Eli offers a number of simple suggestions to get a domain name.
Not as informative and actionable as the similar chapter in Hello, My Name is Awesome but still worth a read.
Warning! Never Evaluate Names in Meetings
I have direct experience of this.
He’s right, it’s a terrible idea.
Another reason to love this book are the examples given of how great names might be viewed in a meeting…
“Apple – full of worms / easily bruised / falls from grace”
“Virgin – says we’re new at this / unprofessional”
It strikes me that this chapter is essential reading, for anyone involved in naming a brand.
Why Risky Names Aren’t Risky
Eli points out that the first job of naming is “…getting people to give a shit.”
Every day we’re bombarded with endless brands vying for attention.
Eli offers some ideas to prompt name ideas based on “what draws people in?”
25 Name Types! The Good, Bad and Ugly
Eli gives an overview of the 25 name types identified by A Hundred Monkeys.
An interesting overview that’ll help you decide which name type is right for you.
The book ends with some sound advice on how to decide upon your final name.
Why I Love This Book!
I like the structure and the exercises.
My must read chapters include:
Start thinking about bad names for your project.
Sounds odd, but works very well.
Kids, Dogs, Goldfish
Discover why not having an engaging (risky) name is risky.
Never Evaluate Names in Meetings
A useful before they were famous perspective on how great names might be viewed in a meeting.
New Species Discovered Daily
An overview of the 25 name types identified by A Hundred Monkeys.
A great way to choose the right name type for you.
Bits I’m Not Sure About!
Eli does talk about the book being about the “process not the theory” of naming.
Pointing out that “there’s a difference between studying art theory and studying art”
But wait Eli we need to learn the art.
We need a name!
It does feel like he’s holding something back.
Real world examples (alongside the theory) would greatly improve things.
And this is my biggest problem with this book!
Who Should Read This Book?
Anyone starting to think about their new brand name.
Particularly if you prefer a more structured approach.
I give it a 4/5.