A compelling name for your skill is vital to the success and longevity of a skill. It is what your users will say every time they want to listen and use your skill. It should be aligned with your branding as you consider how to promote your skill.
Skill Name vs. Invocation Phrase
Although part of the same skill, skill name and invocation phrase are inherently different. Yet, we advise to keep them as close to the same as possible.
- A skill name is how it is read
- An invocation phrase is how it is said by your listener to invoke the skill
A skill name should be just about identical to how you refer to your brand in any copy or on your website. Invocation phrases are simply phonetically how your skill should be said. Below is some help on how to best create your invocation name for success on Alexa.
Additionally, skill names can be adjusted but Invocation phrases CANNOT be changed. See our policy around invocation name changes.
An invocation phrase should be:
Alexa Recognizable (within the English/Language Lexicon)
Recommended to be shorter than or equal to 3 words
- No numeric, special characters, or punctuation
- Possessive apostrophes & periods used in abbreviations are allowed.
- Does NOT contain ‘Alexa’, 'Echo', ‘Amazon’, 'Computer', 'Skill', or 'App'.
- Should be between 2 - 50 characters
- One-word invocation names are NOT allowed
- Does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of an entity or person. Unless you own the rights.
- Two-word invocation names are not allowed if one of the words is a definite article (“the”), indefinite article (“a”, “an”) or preposition (“for”, “to”, “of”). For example, “a bicycle”, “an espresso”, “to amuse”, “for fun”.
- The invocation name must not contain any of the Alexa skill launch phrases and connecting words. Launch phrase examples include “launch”, “ask”, “tell”, “load”, “begin”, and “enable”. Connecting word examples include “to”, “from”, “by”, “if”, “and”, “whether”.
|Skill Name||Bad Invocation Name||Good Invocation Name|
|Totally Awesome 80's||totally awesome 80's||totally awesome eighties|
|Mix 106||mix one hundred six f. m. radio||mix one oh six|
|WEEI||weei radio boston sports||w. e. e. i.|
|Bravo Tango Brain Training||Bravo Tango Brain Training Exercises||Bravo Tango|
|Apothic Wines||Flight Night by Apothic Wines||Flight Night|
Things to Keep In Mind...
- Slang can be difficult for Alexa to recognize (Jammin' vs. Jamming)
- Abbreviations can overcomplicate (Cincy for Cincincatti)
- Align skill name with invocation name
- For acronyms, the invocation name must contain single letters, each followed by a period and a space. The invocation name cannot spell out phonemes. For example, a skill titled “USC Trivia” would need “USC” represented as “u. s. c. “ and NOT “you ess see”.
- The invocation name must contain only lower-case alphabetic characters, spaces between words, possessive apostrophes (for example, “sam’s science trivia”), or periods used in abbreviations (for example, “a. b. c.”). Other characters like numbers must be spelled out. For example, “twenty one”. The name must be easy to pronounce correctly and be phonetically distinct to avoid being misinterpreted as other similar sounding words.
For more information, visit Amazon's official guidelines here.