Strategic name development is a fine art. Indeed, it’s not an easy task to get to the core of your brand in a few syllables. Below are some of the processes that may be helpful.
1. Evaluate the competition.
The first step in beginning a naming project, or creative one for that matter, is knowing the competition. Note what names are used for competing companies or products and be sure to stay well clear of these names in order to drive your point of difference.
2. Establish a project vocabulary.
Essentially this is a list of words that describe what the name should communicate to the viewer. These words may not actually end up being the name or part of the name, but this list will help to serve as a guide when brainstorming.
4. Explore translating words to other languages.
You can start the project vocabulary and look at how some of these words translate to different languages.
5. Explore suffixes/prefixes.
You can create a set of cards with prefixes and suffixes in order to pair them together as needed. It definitely helps to see the word, not just hear it.
6. Explore conceptual options.
Sometimes referred to as “blue sky territory” this step involves thinking about more abstract concepts that could be related to the company or product being named. This could include stories or fables that relate to what the company or product does.
The final step involves filtering all of the names that were generated. Usually there are a few that stand out, but it’s time to evaluate each one individually and see if there’s cause to keep each. Typically this could take a couple rounds to get down to a handful of names. Also, this is a good place to evaluate possible URLs for the names. Typically we’re thinking about what unique URLs are open throughout the entire naming process.
8. Rate the final names.
Lastly you can rate the names that have made your shortlist as a group, thinking about the below attributes for each.
The attributes may include:
Appearance – rate how the word looks visually
Distinctive – is the name memorable or unique in the marketplace?
Depth – evaluate the meaning of the word as it relates to the company/product
Energy – what kind of energy does the name have when seen or heard?
Humanity – does the name have a human warmth to it?
Positioning – how does the name stack up against competitors?
Sound – evaluate the name when pronounced: is it easy to say/spell?
X Factor – rate the intangibles: cool sounding, double-meaning, etc.
Trademark – is the name protectable?
URL – can a unique URL be found for the name?
Tagline-ability – will the name “play nice” with a tagline?