Naming to win
At the core of any brand or product is its name. Names are the means by which we identify and categorize the things we experience in the world, the way we tell our friends about them, the way we find them, and the way we remember them. Names are without a doubt the most enduring element of a brand, product or offering, and a key tool to for positioning in competitive spaces.
When approaching any naming project it is best develop a creative strategy to support your efforts. Naming is by its nature one of the more subjective creative processes you will face. You can generate a great name and it may get shot down because someone got bit by dog with that name when they were a kid. Traumatic yes. Should this have any bearing on your naming project? No, but it will in some form.
Your naming strategy should include clear objectives and strategic directions for the name, including associations. Be sure the strategy is thorough and has buy in from all members of the approval process. Remember you will have to sell the new names on multiple levels starting with your internal team, management and legal. Once you clear the internal process, you need to make sure the name is appropriate for your audience and in the context of your competition.
There are four things we look for in a good name:
- Impact - you have to get noticed to be considered at all.
- Memorability - people need to be able to easily recollect your offering. Pronounceability plays a key role in memorability.
- Association-building - people need to understand what you're offering and why.
- Protectability - you want a name that fends off the "me too's" of the world and clearly stakes out your position in the market.