How to Ace the Name Game—Alexandra Watkins, Founder, Eat My Words

What would you do if you had to rename your company? How would you name a new product or service you created? 

In today’s episode, we interview Alexandra Watkins, who shares with us her tried and true methods for branding, rebranding, and name creation.


It’s not too late to change the name of your brand.


Alexandra Watkins is a leading and outspoken authority on brand names with buzz. If you have ever eaten a Wendy’s Baconator, you have literally eaten the words. For nearly 20 years, she and her naming firm, Eat My Words, have created love-at-first sight brand names for countless companies including Amazon, Coca-Cola, Disney, Twitter, and Google. Her own “Name Hall of Fame” includes frozen yogurt franchise Spoon Me, the Neato robotic vacuum, Burger King’s Mac n’ Cheetos, and Spanish language school Gringo Lingo. The vertical farming company she named Plenty was recently named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Companies by Time Magazine.

Alexandra is a former Author in Residence with the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. Her breakthrough creativity book, “Hello, My Name is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick,” was named a Top 10 Marketing Book by Inc. Magazine. She lives by the beach in her Barbie Dream House.


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Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):

Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team. And as we open today, I’m wondering what you would do if you had to rename your company. Or how would you go about naming a new product or a new service you created? Our guest today is Alexandra Watkins, who shares with us her tried and true methods for branding, rebranding, and name creation.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:36):

Now, Alexandra is a leading and outspoken authority on brand names with Buzz. If you have ever eaten a Wendy’s Baconator, you have literally eaten the words. For nearly 20 years, she and her naming firm Eat My Words, have created love at First sight, brand names for countless companies, including Amazon, Coca-Cola, Disney, Twitter, and Google. Her own name Hall of Fame includes frozen yogurt franchise Spoon Me, the Neato Robotic Vacuum, Burger King’s Mac and Cheetos, and Spanish Language School, Gringo Lingo. Alexandra is a former author in residence with the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center. Her breakthrough creativity book Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick was a top 10 marketing book by Inc. Magazine, which by the way, I’ve read her book and it is fantastic. It’s one of my favorite business books I’ve read in many years. It’s practical, insightful, easy to read, and you can get through it quickly with great tips and advice. And it’s one of the reasons I’m excited to have her on the podcast. So let’s go ahead and jump right into my interview with Alexandra Watkins.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (01:41):

I’m Alexandra Watkins. I am chief executive boss lady at Eat My Words.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:48):

Wonderful. I found you and your book and I finished it. It was one of the best business books I’ve read probably over the course of the last couple of years. I thought it was excellent. And just as a synopsis, I’d love for you to just give an overview about your book for someone who hasn’t had a chance to read it yet.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (02:07):

Sure. My book is called Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick. It was named an Inc. Magazine Top 10 Marketing Book and also Top 10 Marketing Book by Branding Journal. The book is a step-by-step process on how to create brand names that stick. It’s very fun and entertaining to read, which I hope you’ll agree. I wrote it for people that don’t want to read about the theory of brand names or all of that jargon, mumbo jumbo. There’s none of that. There’s no fluff. It’s just for people I know with the brand name, people are like, “God, I’m ready to go with my business. I just don’t have a name yet.” It’s often the last thing thing. So the book is designed to help you get through it quickly. It gives you tons of brainstorming ideas and it will help you evaluate if your name is good or if it sucks.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:12):

And that’s one of the reasons why I love the book. I run into this a lot. We help companies franchise their business. And it happens often enough where a client actually has to go through a rebranding process because they’re not able to secure the trademark for their name as they start to expand. So they often have a great name. It sounds wonderful, but sometimes that name is already taken and now they’ve got to go through a rebrand. So I’d love for you just to, as a starting point, maybe talk through some of these mistakes, common mistakes that you see people make when they start going through a naming process or even a renaming process.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (03:52):

Yeah, that’s a great question. And I can talk. We’ve done so many rebrands and I know when you go to franchise and suddenly you’re going on a national level, you can’t always get the trademark, a federal trademark. So the biggest mistake that people make is where they start. They start at GoDaddy. I love GoDaddy, but that’s where we go last, looking for a domain name. Do not worry about your domain name. If you are a franchise business, you are a brick and mortar, correct?

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:25):

In some cases, about half of franchises are brick and mortar and about a half are going to be home-based or some kind of service business.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (04:33):

Okay. But they’re not a pure online business.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:37):


Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (04:38):

Okay, so you do not need… Like, Eat My Words. We’re, but we could easily be Eat My Words names, Eat My Words branding. So don’t worry about your domain name and I will give you some inspiration here. What I love are super creative brand name. So for instance, there’s a peanut butter company called Peanut Butter & Co, and that’s their domain name, but they also have And if you go to, it redirects to Why? Because it’s more fun. That’s what the employees want on their business cards. And it’s an unforgettable name.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (05:18):

Another one is a smoked Turkey mail order company. So their company name is Greenberg Smoked Turkey, but you don’t know how to spell Greenberg when I say it. Is it B-U-R-G or B-E-R-G? Their domain name again, unforgettable, is And lastly, we did a gourmet popcorn store concept, and the name of the store that we came up with was Pop Psychology. We couldn’t get the domain name. Psychology is tricky to spell for some people, so the domain name was

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (05:59):

I love those names. Well, one of the things that stood out to me in the book is that you talked about not bringing outsiders into the naming process. So talk about why you suggest not having these outsiders part of that process.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (06:16):

What I’d like to say is, can you imagine if Richard Branson had done a SurveyMonkey to his mates asking them what they thought of Virgin? I mean, maybe his mates would’ve thought it was cool. By the way, I’m getting my book… I think he already has it. I did a speaking engagement last week with Tai Lopez and he’s speaking with Richard this week in Australia, so I’m getting my book to him. But yeah, don’t survey people. Don’t ask people what they think. When you ask outsiders, “What do you think of this name?”, that’s not what they hear you saying. What they hear you saying is, “What don’t you like about it?” When you ask someone’s opinion, it’s an invitation to criticize. Apple never asks what people think of the names they come out with. They just launched the name.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:04):

Certainly. I know there was the whole issue between Apple computers and Apple Records with the Beatles for many years. I know there was an issue with naming and then the iTunes and whole lot of things that came out and they just rolled with it. They eventually figured that out and found common ground.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (07:22):

Yeah. And you can peacefully coexist, but you don’t want to just think that you can. You have to go through all the proper channel. Sounds like you have some great trademark hookups. I do as well. But yeah, definitely due diligence in that area.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:38):

One of the things you share and talk about is the brainstorming process. So you talk about not inviting outsiders to give their opinion or criticism as you described. That was very well said. You also talk about problems that you found that are common when people start brainstorming. So I’d love for you to talk about what some of those problems are and what you suggest to actually do during the brainstorming.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (08:01):

Okay, great question. When people brainstorm, traditionally in corporate, they sit in a white room. You’re in that sterile conference room staring at a whiteboard and you’re expecting colorful ideas to materialize. Wat people are doing is they’re relying on their own brain. So everything that they’re trying to come up with is just based on their own knowledge. And so they’re just throwing out ideas and trying to amalgamate things like, “Oh, let’s combine this word and this word.” And then that’s how you end up with names like Cogentiva or just these bizarre names.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (08:41):

So what I suggest instead, read the book. Learn what makes a good name, have everybody on the team do it. Then come to the meeting prepared where everyone comes already having brainstormed on their own. The best place to brainstorm is online. And in my book, I give you a ton of online resources. I also have an online course and that has even more. So when you brainstorm online, you are going to open up so many new resources that you never thought of. A.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (09:15):

Nd here’s an example. If you were sitting with your team around the conference table, if you were ideating names for a frozen yogurt store for instance, and you’re all thinking of, “Okay, let’s concept around the word cold.” How many things could you come up with versus going to a Thesaurus and looking up the word cold? You’re going to get a lot more ideas that way. So it’s as simple as a Thesaurus or go to stock photo house. Type in the word cold, go to stock photo library, and you’re going to see pictures that will inspire names. And that’s actually how I came up with the name for… We’ve named three frozen yogurt stores, one of them franchise. And that’s how I came up with the name, looking at photos online.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:00):

While you’re talking about rebranding or naming it and coming up with it, I’d love for you to share a little bit about that story. Certainly we have folks tuning in that have recently franchised or in the process or maybe a growing franchise and may run into a similar issue at some point.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (10:16):

Yeah, no, I love this story. So the company was… It was a frozen yogurt store in Utah in Salt Lake City. They were going to launch with the name Zen Yo, like Zen Yogurt. And it’s like, “Really? Is anyone going to buy a T-shirt with that?”

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (10:32):

What I always like to think about naming a business is how can we monetize the name so they can make money off the name? So I knew no one was going to buy T-shirts with Zen Yo. They read an article about me in a magazine and they’re like, “Well, all right, let’s just try it. We have this as our backup name, but let’s try it.” And it was at the time when Pinkberry was gaining popularity and there were so many Pinkberry copycat. There’s Yo Berry, Bliss Berry, Cool Berry Yumberry, Yogi Berry, there’s a ton of them. So they’re like, “We don’t want to name with a color and a fruit.” Even Red Mango is a ripoff of Pinkberry if you think about it, because it’s a color and a fruit. Neither Pinkberry or Red Mango or even really clever names. So we’re like, “Don’t worry. No fruit, no berries, no color. We’re not going to do that.”

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (11:29):

So we came up with so many fun names. Some of my favorites are Joe Yo, like Joe Blow, Joe Yo, Chateau Yo. I came up with a rhyming dictionary, frigid that was through at Thesaurus. Another one was Siberia. And that I came up with looking up coldest places on earth and I was just reading, I like to skim and read and the word Siberia popped off the page at me and I was like, “Yes, that would be really fun for kids to say, ‘Hey mom, I’m going to Siberia. I’ll be back before 10 o’clock’.” Or whatever the bedtime is for teens in Utah. So the name that I came up with though, did a search on Google for eating frozen yogurt, eat frozen yogurt. And I saw all these spoons. And boom, it popped in my head, Spoon Me. So Spoon Me became the name. And they had so much fun with that name and they really monetized it.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (12:28):

So when a new franchise location was opening, instead of the signs saying, “Coming soon,” it said “Spooning soon,” right? So that aroused a lot of curiosity. Then on the door, the front door, because they were in Utah, for the store hours it said no spooning on Sunday. It also said no shirt, no shoes, no spoon. And then inside the store you could buy T-shirts that said things like, “Shut up and Spoon Me.” They had bumper stickers. “If you’re driving this close, you might as well Spoon Me.” And they had booty shorts that said, “Spoon Me” on them. So yeah, that name, I like to say they were making cold, hard cash off that name.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:16):

Well, what a great story. Certainly a fun, memorable, clever name that you were able to come up with there. It’s a great story. One of the things that I found interesting in your book is when you talked about businesses naming things such as conference rooms or lunch cafeteria areas or meeting rooms and so on. Just applying this through, not just the company name and also even as you create new products and new services and naming those. So talk through why you think that’s important.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (13:48):

Well, let’s talk about conference rooms. So some of my favorite conference room names are from a company whose name just I don’t like, it’s Etsy. It took me forever to remember the name Etsy.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (14:02):

Here’s the thing with names. You want your name to be memorable. There’s nothing in our brain that makes it easy to remember Etsy other than maybe if you know someone named Betsy. Maybe that’s how they say it. It’s like Betsy without the B. But even so, Etsy. Your brain needs something familiar to latch onto. And Etsy, I could never remember. And I know I’m not the only person. But because it’s like eBay, such a cool platform, it doesn’t matter what they were named. But look, when you’re starting out with a blank slate, don’t give yourself any disadvantages.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (14:36):

So Etsy’s meeting room names are musician food mashups. So for instance, Oreo Speedwagon, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Fleetwood Mac and Cheese. So what that does is it’s just part of the culture, right? It’s fun. Employees love to say like, “Oh, we’re meeting in Fleetwood Mac and Cheese.” So much more fun than saying, “We’re meeting in conference room 23A,” right? So also when you have fun names, so it could be childhood toys, child dances, the Funky Chicken, Cha-cha. We’re meeting in Chacha, we’re meeting in the Lindy Hop. Those are fun. So employees like it.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (15:20):

And then if you’re doing childhood toys like rock and sock and robots. It gets conversation started. So you’re bringing people together and then it’s just a conversation starter. It’s free to name conference rooms, right? No one needs to trademark them. That’s what I like. And also team name. One of my favorites is Toastmaster Clubs. A lot of companies have Toastmaster clubs. There’s so many good ones so I’ll tell you my two favorites. Pacific Gas and Electric, theirs is Electric Toasters. And Bayer, the pharmaceutical company, they have a pet division and it’s called Sit, Stay, Speak.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:59):

You reference a couple of different acronyms in the book. You have a SMILE acronym and a SCRATCH acronym. You go on length certainly in the book. So hopefully someone who’s listening in pick up your book and read it and go through in detail. But maybe just give a quick overview of those acronyms and how they help through this process.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (16:18):

So the SMILE and SCRATCH test is a 12 point name evaluation test. It’s based on my philosophy that a name should make you smile instead of scratch your head. It doesn’t need to make you laugh, it just needs to create a smile in your mind like you get it, right? So if I tell you that we named a GPS for dogs, Retriever, you get it, right? You’re like, “Oh yeah.” Everybody wants to feel smart. We all want to feel clued in. No one wants to feel clueless.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (16:49):

And by the way, before the show, I looked up top franchises and I saw Orange Theory. Orange Theory, for years I thought it was a juice bar. And I know I’m not the only person who did, like Orange [inaudible 00:17:03], right? So yeah, that’s a name that unless you went there, you would have no idea what Orange Theory even meant.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (17:11):

But back to SMILE and SCRATCH. So SMILE is an acronym for the five qualities that make a name awesome. It’s suggestive, so it evokes something positive about your brand. It’s memorable. We talked about that. So it based in something familiar that people already have an association with. Example, kryptonite, bike locks. We all know kryptonite from Superman. We know kryptonite repels Superman. Therefore, kryptonite would repel bike thieves. And it’s already based in our mouth. We already have it in our brain.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (17:44):

The I stands for imagery. When people hear your name or they see it, if they can picture something in their mind, that’s going to help them remember it later. People remember images much more easily than they remember words or letters. That L stands for legs. And legs is when your name lends itself to a theme. So for instance, at Eat My Words, as you can imagine, our theme is food and beverage. So we have packages like supermarket special and fun size. We have a menu of services. Our blog is called The Kitchen Sink. So you can have a lot of fun.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (18:19):

And if you’re a franchise, that’s a great way for you to extend your brand like with Pop Psychology with crazyforpopcorn, right? And the popcorn came and wrapped in shrink wrap. The sweet and salty tin was bipolar. I think all of these would probably be offensive now, but this is years ago. And then the holiday mix with all of the different flavors, six flavors, that was multiple personality disorder. We also had Munchausen syndrome. So that’s a theme, right? Psychology, we can really extend the brand that way.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (18:55):

And the E stands for emotional. You want your name to make an emotional connection and resonate with your customers. Otherwise, it’s going to go right over their head.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (19:04):

And then SCRATCH, the flip side, the way to remember SCRATCH is if it makes you scratch your head, scratch it off the list. So the S stands for spelling challenge. If your name looks like a typo, scratch. It off the list. It’s going to frustrate people and it will frustrate you. You want your name to be friction free, and that’s what if you follow SCRATCH, you will eliminate the friction.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (19:31):

So the next C in SCRATCH, they’re the first C and SCRATCH, stands for copycat. We talked about that with Pinkberry and all the Pinkberry ripoffs. When people see your copycat name, they roll their eyes and they think, “Oh, they copied Pinkberry.” Why be somebody else when you can be yourself?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (19:51):

R stands for restrictive, and that’s where you outgrow your name. So for instance, Burlington Coat Factory were more than just coats, right? If you have to make a disclaimer, then you’ve outgrown your name. Canadian Tire, they sell tons of merchandise, way more than tires. They should have changed their name years ago, but they kept it. But anytime you’ll see like fast signs for years, their tagline was More than Fast, More than Signs. And that’s a big franchise, right?

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:25):


Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (20:25):

More than Fast, More than Signs. Don’t outgrow your name. Or look into your crystal ball when you’re coming up with your name and make sure… I know that we never know what’s going to happen, right? None of us knew ChatGPT was going to take over the world. Look into your crystal ball and think, what could we possibly sell in the future?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (20:44):

Then the A stands for annoying. Again, talking about friction free, you do not want that friction. So don’t spell your name backwards. Don’t put numbers in your name like Coast2Coast with the numeral two. You are forever going to have to tell people, “Oh, it’s a number 2.” And again, it’s going to lead to frustration.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (21:05):

T stands for tame. You don’t want your name to be tamed because you need to stand out and you do not want to be a wallflower. Don’t be boring. Then the second C in SCRATCH stands for curse of knowledge. That’s where you know what the name… Orange Theory, perfect example, curse of knowledge. Nobody driving by would have any idea what Orange Theory is. And it’s something, some like, I think cardio level, you get into the Orange Zone. Orange Zone would’ve made more sense to me than Orange Theory. It’s the word theory that really throws me off.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (21:44):

And then the H in SCRATCH, this is a really important one, hard to pronounce. You want your name to only be pronounced one way. And I have a great example for you. I am working right now with a woman who is the queen of Cricut. Cricut is spelled C-R-I-C-U-T. And for years I was pronouncing this Cricut. It’s a crafting thing, it’s a vinyl crafting thing. You go to JoAnn or Michaels, there’s entire rows of what I thought was Cricut.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (22:20):

And so talking to my client Abbi, and she’s telling me about Cricut, I’m like, “Oh my gosh…” Because I had said Cricut, she’s like, “Oh, everyone says it wrong.” Look, if I was getting into crafting and hearing about it and someone’s telling me like, “Oh, you have to check out Cricut, it’s so much fun, you’ll love it” and someone else is telling me about Cricut, I would have no idea. It was exactly the same thing. So Cricut recently redesigned their logo to have little antennas on the C, like a Cricut, and they have a little cricket character. But look, your name needs to be able to appear in black and white on the top franchise list where there’s no little logo with it, there’s no colors, there’s no weird capitalization. It’s just somebody should be able to read it as a proper noun and know intuitively how to pronounce it and what it means, or a hint of what it is.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:18):

Someone might be listening and say, “I wonder, should I rename my company?” Or maybe they’re starting to franchise and they have to, maybe, because they’re not able to get a trademark. And so is it ever too late to change the name of your brand?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (23:33):

No. That’s a great question. We renamed a bank that was more than a hundred years old. They were an award-winning regional bank named First National Bank of Syracuse. But they were in Syracuse, Kansas, and they sounded like a New York bank. People in Kansas don’t want to bank with New Yorkers, as you can imagine. So they had really outgrown their name. They wanted something that was more maverick and they were all about helping people make their dreams come true. They financed a lot of farms, so we rebranded them Dream First. So it’s a really aspirational name that is so breakthrough and different than a regular bank name.

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (24:15):

And we also just renamed another brand that was more than a hundred years old. This is a number of health centers in Los Angeles that serve the underserved communities, and the name was QueensCare. They had to lose the name through, I don’t know, some breakup that they had. The hardest thing for us is when somebody’s being forced to rename their company and they don’t want to lose the name but they have to because they’re so emotionally tied to it. And so we are facing an uphill battle, but we rebranded them Grace Light. And Grace Light is a pretty name. Their faith-based. It’s all about illumination and grace, just giving grace. It was just a beautiful pretty name and they love it.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:11):

Great examples here. Well, how can someone find out a little bit more about what you’re doing and get a copy of your book as well?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (25:18):

Okay, well, you can go to There’s a page there for the book and it’ll take you… Or just go on Amazon and get it. It’s a second edition, so make sure it has the blue name tag on it instead of the red one. Then you can follow me on LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn a lot, and that’s where I post all the podcasts. If you want to run your name through the SMILE and SCRATCH test, there’s an interactive one that you can do there. And there’s also a lot of other renaming resources like you can take my mini masterclass for free. Yeah, there’s a lot. It’s a really entertaining and inspiring website. And I encourage you to look through our portfolio at the before and after name examples. You’ll be really inspired.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:09):

Great. And we’ll make sure we include those links in the show notes as well.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:13):

So Alexandra, as we make this transition here, the first question we ask every guest before they go is, have you had a miss or two on your journey and something you learned from it?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (26:23):

Yes. The miss that I had was I named a consulting firm Altimeter Group. I thought everyone would know how to pronounce altimeter because I’ve known how to pronounce that since I was young. I don’t know how, I just did. But I didn’t realize not everyone knew how to pronounce it, and some people call it Altimeter. Yeah, Altimeter, which is weird. To me, that doesn’t even sound like a word, Altimeter. But yeah, instead of Altimeter. So I learned, make sure people can pronounce it. And it’s like high end consulting, so I thought, “Okay, people are educated, they’ll know how.” No, that was a mistake, and I would say that would be the fail.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:07):

On the other side, you’ve shared some great examples of some renames and different client success stories you’ve shared. Is there another make or win that you’ve had that you’d like to share?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (27:18):

So my win is there was a company that came to us, the guy, he had seen me speak at Stanford, and a couple of years later he came to us and said, “I have a vertical farming company.” So they grow produce indoors, and it’s called See Jane Farm, but no one under 30 knows the reference to the Dick and Jane books from when we were kids and we want to be a global brand. And See Jane Farm, they’re not going to know the Dick and Jane books either, so we need a new name that’s better fit for us. So we rebranded them Plenty. Right after we rebranded them plenty, they received $200 million in funding from SoftBank. Then I have a free subscription to Time Magazine and I rarely crack it open. And this one with Kim Kardashian on it, with the Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Companies, it sat on my coffee table for months and I finally cracked it open and I saw that Plenty was named one of the top 100 most influential companies. And it’s been years since that happened, and they have raised almost a billion dollars now.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (28:33):

Wow. What a story. What a story. Well, congratulations on that. That’s amazing. Well, let’s talk about a multiplier. We get such a wide range of responses when we ask clients. Have you used a multiplier to grow yourself personally or professionally or maybe a business or an organization you’ve been involved with?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (28:51):

Yeah. Well, I am involved with many. I’m a big volunteer, very involved in my community. But my multiplier, I had to think about this, is I love going on podcasts. I have been on almost 100 of them, most of those in the last year, and I’m kind of on a roll. And so yeah, that’s what it keeps me going. It’s exciting and fun. I love coming on and meeting people like you, Tom, and then getting the message out there. That is really fun for me.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (29:24):

Wonderful. Well, and the final question we ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (29:30):

Well, I have achieved success and it means living in my Barbie dream house. And I do. I work out of our pool house. I turned it into a really fun office. If you’re watching this video, you can see behind me there’s a lot of color. I’m looking out over the pool with two giant pink flamingos named Maui and Wowee. We have a surfboard fence and a tiki bar. There’s a pirate in the hammock. There’s a skeleton leftover. We have a lot of Halloween decorations that we just keep in the backyard because they’re fun all year. A lot of skeleton pirates. But yeah, there’s a skeleton in the hammock with a… I just put a santa hat on him. So yeah, no, I live by the beach. And yeah, I feel like I have achieved the dream.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (30:14):

Well, Alexandra, as we bring this to a close, is there anything you were hoping to share or get across that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (30:21):

Yeah, I’ll tell you my favorite name of all time. So it’s a bike pump. Bike companies have the best names, and this is a bike pump, and it’s named Joe Blow.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (30:33):

Were you involved in creating that and coming up with it?

Alexandra Watkins, Eat My Words (30:36):

I wish I was. No, no. How I found it is I was on a date with this guy and we were driving somewhere and there was something rattling around in his trunk and I’m like, “Do you have a dead body in your trunk?” When we got to the destination, he opened his trunk and I saw it was his bike pump and it was Joe Blow. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that is the best name.” I’ll never forget that name.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:02):

Alexandra, thank you so much for a fantastic interview. And let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:09):

So takeaway number one is avoiding common naming mistakes. And the first one is when companies or leaders focus too much on finding the perfect domain name for the business. And she said, “Don’t worry about finding the domain, you can do that later.” Number two is she said, “Don’t bring insiders into your naming process.” So she said don’t bring them in, do this internally, or maybe just you come up with a name because you on the inside, your company and your team, will have a better sense than some outsider that’s not as involved.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:45):

Take away number two is when she talked about the best way to brainstorm for new ideas. And she said, “What you don’t do is just have everyone sit in a room and stare at a blank screen.” She said have people come prepared to your brainstorming session where everyone gathers their own ideas first. And she said the best way to do that is go to Google and just type in names, look at images through stock library or Google searches. Use a Thesaurus and think about different ways that you can maybe monetize the brand after it’s created.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:19):

And takeaway number three is her SMILE and SCRATCH test. Both of which are acronyms, but I’d love the simplicity of what she described. If your name makes you smile, chances are it’s a winner. If you have to scratch your head and wonder, what does that mean, it’s probably the wrong choice. So just even from that simple application and certainly the details that come along with each of those are fantastic.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:50):

So let’s go ahead and jump into today’s win-win. So today’s win-win is when Alexandra talked about renaming your brand. And this is something I really wanted to talk with her about because it’s something I see a lot of our clients have struggles with when they start franchising their business where maybe they’re not able to secure the trademark for their name and they’re worried about what’s going to happen to their brand. And what Alexandra said is that it’s never too late to change the name of a brand. And in fact, if you listen to the podcast episode before this one where we interviewed Charles Watson, the CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, he talked about how his brand actually rebranded several times, and that’s a very large franchise system. I thought that was interesting. And we’ve seen other changes where some of them have been large changes or small changes, but still name brand changes. She said, it’s never too late. It’s okay. And I’ve seen many clients go through rebranding and renaming very successfully.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (33:55):

And so that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone you know might be ready to franchise or business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at Thanks for tuning in and we look forward to having you back next week.

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