Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Professional Namer? Quiz and Contest Test Creativity and Knowledge

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Clever people of all ages and backgrounds invited to submit catchy, evocative names for a new company, competing for a prize of $100 and the chance to become a professional namer.

Creative Ways, sponsor of a Name-This-Company Contest (http://www.yudkin.com/namecontest.htm), invites clever people of all ages and backgrounds to submit catchy, evocative names for a new web design and search engine optimization company. The prize: $100 and the chance to become a professional namer, getting paid to think up new product names, new company names, tag lines and ad slogans.

“Since there are not many professional namers in the world, people have been asking me what qualities they need to be good at company naming,” says Marcia Yudkin, sponsor of the creativity contest. “Not only do namers need to be able to brainstorm like crazy, they need to be sensitive to factors that can spell doom or triumph when business names go out into the real world.”

Yudkin offers this quick quiz for potential namers. To which of these names would you give a thumbs up and which a thumbs down?

1. Zyklon Bikes

2. Quirinus Quarterly (political magazine)

3. The Energy Spot (web site selling healthy snacks and diet plans)

4. Elkins Enterprises (mail order company)

Answers: All the names deserve thumbs down. Here’s why.

1. “Zyklon” sounds fast and energetic. However, it’s also the name of the gas used by Nazis to kill millions during World War Two. A British company that announced this name for running shoes earned terrible PR.

2. Quirinus was a Roman god of military and political affairs, so the meaning of this name fits. But even most Ph.D.s and history buffs would not be able to spell or pronounce the name with confidence.

3. Start the name of an ecommerce company with “the” and customers won’t easily remember whether or not “the” is part of the domain name. “The” followed by the letter “e” is even more problematic for spelling a web address. People will hesitate to type “theenergyspot.com.”

4. Like “Quirinus Quarterly,” this has alliteration in its favor. But so many dubiously honest and struggling but honest businesses have used “Enterprises” that it sounds suspicious to many people as a business name component.

Anyone may enter Creative Ways’ name-this-company contest with as many company name candidates as they like at http://www.yudkin.com/namecontest.htm, through August 31, 2005. The winner of the company name contest will be announced September 5, 2005. Non-winners who submit captivating names will be considered for a post as a professional namer, as will the contest winner. After the expiration of this contest, there will be another contest running at http://www.yudkin.com/namecontest.htm, a tag line contest, with a product naming contest after that at the same URL through at least the end of 2005.

Contact: Marcia Yudkin, contest@yudkin.com, (413) 582-4052.

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Marcia Yudkin
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