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#34 Louise Karch — The Name Whisperer

My guest on this episode is the name whisperer - Louise Karch. Louise is a lover of language, a self confessed word nerd and a recovering Canadian. She is also the author of Word Glue - Find Your Million Dollar Brand Name which is the naming handbook for professionals.

With Word Glue, Louise shows us how to create names that stick. She unlocks the principles and processes to show you how to find a name that matters to the people you care about.

In this episode Louise explains when she first got interested in names and we talk about artists who have changed their names and in doing so, changed their stories. Louise tells me what a trademark is and explains why you might want one, pointing out why today’s attention economy makes it essential to have a name that is remarkable.

Louise shares some great principles to consider when naming your next show, album, business or even baby (for instance which name is more trustworthy - one that begins with the letter B or the letter C?) and discover the right way to get feedback on your name ideas so that you end up with a name that gets noticed, talked about, and remembered.

Find out more about Louise, her book and her work at

Links and show notes from this episode:

  • Ken Segall - Former Apple Creative Director and author of Think Simple & Insanely Simple
  • Bruno Mars
  • Judy Garland
  • The benefits and protections of trade marking the names you use and why you should consider trade marking your name 
  • Prince
  • Why the attention economy makes it essential to have a name that is remarkable
  • Alvin Tofler-coined the term infobesity
  • How having a name that stands out can help you compete against CocaCola’s $2B marketing budget. [Maybe closer to $6B?]
  • Be brave not blah
  • Choose a name worthy of discussion
  • “Do you like this name?” isn’t the right question to ask. Don’t ask people for their opinion. Opinion doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is “Does this get noticed (by those you seek to serve)?”
  • Tips on how you can get helpful feedback on your naming ideas
  • The process the brain takes when it hears a new name:
    •  An attentional cue is fired…Do I notice this?
    •  A feeling happens…What do I feel?
    •  We make meaning of it…What do I think?
  • Rent a Head - creativity idea promoted by Todd Sampson to get you unstuck. Imagine you are your favourite expert in the field where you need advice/support - what would they do in this situation?
  • What is your relationship with your name?
  • Why Louise stays out of the baby naming game - Abbisiddy, anyone?
  • A name is an evolving thing
  • Our names evolve over the course of our lifetimes, as does what we want that name to represent and communicate 
  • Stage names and nom de plumes
  • Le Gateau Chocolat
  • Meow Meow
  • Freedom to act differently, behave differently , be braver 
  • Robert Zimmerman > Robert Allen > Elston Gunn > Bob Dylan 
  • The power of 3 syllables 
  • Is a name that starts with B more trustworthy than one that starts with C?
  • We want names that stick. Names worthy of being talked about
  • Ken Davenport - The Producer’s Perspective Blog
  • Fairy Godmother Pap Test

I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this episode. You can reach me (Matthew) here.

Thanks for listening!