What would help you create great names?


Hi All,

We’re working on some updates to the Contest Holder Getting Started Process.

  • What would you like us to ask the CH to help you develop great names, which they will love?
  • What information do you wish that you had?
  • Is there anything we should add to the Naming Brief that would really help you?

(Important: Keep your responses positive and constructive)


When a CH rates a name “On the Right Track” or “Like It” we’d like to know what they like (or dislike) about the name - Just a bit more information would help us “tweak” our entries, and get a better feel for what the CH is looking for.


Grant, a while ago we came up with a really good list of these things that SH was planning to use but I don’t know if you did.

Here’s some of the things I want to know and really would like to see be mandatory for CH:

  1. Location of CH and where they will do business - I feel this should be mandatory because of language/culture issues. I feel this is extremely important.
  2. Languages they might consider or other language restriction related things like some have said: don’t use Rs and Ls, etc.
  3. How do we continue to get “at” the “do not use these specific words” issue? I understand they sometimes remember after submissions are made but sometimes it is also very obvious words they should have told us not to use from the beginning.
  4. What “extension words” for your domain are you comfortable with us using? ie: Capital, RealEstate, Accounting, CPA, LLC, etc.

These are top of mind with me all the time but I’m sure I have others. I will wait for others to respond and if I think of more, I will send more.

I would still like to see more work done on 8 character and less domains to make sure the CH understands the limitations of these and expectations are that they will receive many made-up names. (Which is totally possible of course!). But not possible: pretty much any SINGLE real word.com domain in pretty much any language.

Contestants make a lot of comments on contests along some of these lines so it will be great if we don’t have to keep repeating ourselves.
Thank you!


Grant, one more thing:
Names of companies that they like and why. I know we ask them some of this already. But I wonder if we could give them examples that are NOT uber, facebook, etc… maybe some names that have won on SH instead?


Hi Grant, I find it helpful when they can include an image that they would like to evoke. I also think it would be helpful to know if they are looking for all the domains that they have listed to be available or would be happy with just one of the domains. Thanks.


@ChristyMay this is such a great point! When they are asking for a “brand” they rarely tell us about the personality of the company, etc, in order to give them a “brand”.


A friend mentioned this to me, and I thought it was worth passing it along. CHs that want an 8 letter, exact domain contests should provide a mandatory $200 or more prize. It takes a lot of work and time to come up with names with that limited criteria, and for a small reward (and yes, I was here when the prizes were $50) and it would bolster more participation from creatives if the prize was higher. I think over time, more and more creatives are just going to pass over those kinds of contests. Perhaps SH could provide a package deal just for the 8 letter/exact domain with the explaination of why $200 is required for the reward. I’m probably not explaining this well. I usually don’t. What do you all think?


I couldn’t have said it better. Honestly requirements like that get harder and harder every day considering how many people are looking for the same thing - whether that’s for their company or to squat on and resale. I personally don’t feel that’s asking too much with the end reward and amount of work that it takes often times. Not to mention what it would cost for the same thing going through an actual branding service (even though several of the services just outsource to us). In reality they are already saving hundreds in many cases even thousands of dollars.


I totally agree with both Laura and Lynn. Those domains are a “premium” service as it were. And as Laura said, more and more contestants will stop participating in those as some have with non-guaranteed contests. When you look at this from SH’s perspective, there are things we do here that are premium services. It should cost more overall both in awards and in SH fees that SH keeps to run premium contests.


I agree with you all. If creatives have to work with the mandatory explanations & drop downs then there should be they same type of drop downs for the CH to use under the rating system. This could be a very important tool, creating better efficiency and direction, for our community. I also agree with participation rates in non-guaranteed contests. I too have stopped most participation in those contests. I’ve seen too many cancellations. Maybe there should be a mandatory guarantee after the first or second day of CH participation and communications. There is no reason that thousands of creatives cannot find 1 brand/name for a CH. @Grant Thoughts???


Great thoughts so far. We’d love to hear more about what type of information given by the CH at the start of the contest would help you most.

All thoughts will of course be considered, but we are specifically looking for great ideas for updating the Name Brief template.


We do always encourage Guaranteed contests. We agree that the process works better when the prize is guaranteed.


There is a rumor that CH rating dropdowns are in development. What one or two thing would you like to know from the CH about your entries?


Hi Grant, I don’t understand why ALL contests are not guaranteed. Why does SH allow this policy? They are hiring SH for a service. And there are some very talented people on this site. They can always extend the contest if they haven’t found the perfect name. It’s like eating a meal at a restaurant and not paying for it. Once they see the names, they can’t un-see them. Doesn’t this encourage “poaching”?


I completely agree with you, Laura. And everyone else who added supportive comments. Those unregistered domains are worth AT LEAST $200 and likely a lot more. Very good point.


Drop downs for CH ratings:

Reread Brief please
Tweak the beginning/end of the name


Hello, I am relatively new to SH and love that you are always open to suggestions and making improvements. This truly is a great place and I am amazed everyday by the talented creatives on this site. I, too, do not really understand why all contests are not guaranteed, particularly when there is a very large award. On a recent contest that I participated in where the prize amount was over $1000, there were many entries submitted. I know that I am not alone in stating that I spent a lot of time trying to think of a great name. I was actually elated to have received a few Likes, however, there were some other Creatives who received LOVE ITS but the contest was still cancelled. Why is this permitted when the CH actually Loved some names? Perhaps when a prize amount is that large, it should always be guaranteed. Just my 2 cents…Now to get back on track, I love the idea of the CH providing a little more information when they give ratings for “On The Right Track”. At least we would have some direction on how to proceed.


I wish I could take the credit, Aunty, but it was someone else’s idea to suggest to make those kind of contests $200. I’m glad that you and others are in agreement :blush:


I think we must move many selections for the CH from optional to mandatory.

– Every time a CH reads an entry, they must rate them or the page will not move forward.
– For a better idea of theming, the CH must pick existing company names they like or don’t like. At least 2 for each.
– If they pick an 8 word limit, the CH must acknowledge that the word will be made up
– Of course, the big one - There should only be guaranteed contests of at least $100. The CH can give/guarantee more but at least the participants have an opportunity to receive something. For the CHs weary of not finding the right name, the SH staff can emphasize that the CH can give a bonus for the winning entry if the CH really uses it.

There should also be a friendly reminder to the CHs that never rate anyone. Maybe an email every 24 hours that states, “You have received ‘X amount’ of entries for your new business! Your prefect name might be waiting for you. If it is not quite there yet, no worries. Please rate the submissions, so our creative community can be guided to your new brand name.”


What specifically they like about it. The sound of it? The spelling? Would they like a variation on it?

I’m still new to this so I hope I don’t sound too unintelligent.