I just finished a naming project in which I generated a couple of hundred brand name candidates in a couple of days. All were at least relevant to the client’s company, but only about fifty met other criteria, including my “sense” of what a great name should “sound” like.
As I was doing my “thing”, I thought about the several procedures I use that I believe may be helpful to any naming project.
I’ll share them over the course of the next few weeks.
First thing, I sent my client a form-filled document that eventually leads to a naming brief. This document has two purposes: 1) to give us direction in developing candidates, and 2) to provide a list of criteria from which candidates need to be judged. Once I get the completed form, I write a naming brief and get my client to “sign off” on it. I do not rely on the client’s input without “interpreting” and resubmitting it to them so we make sure I understand his/her goals and needs, and that they understand the approach I’ll be taking.
As part of this form, I ask clients to suggest the five “characteristics and attributes” that best describe the business. I provide the list below and ask them to circle the five most appropriate terms.
Then a provide a second checklist and ask my client to circle the five descriptors that best reflect the “personality” or desired “image” for the company. Here’s that checklist:
Now I have a place to start. I’ll begin by doing a synonym check and a word association check for those ten words preferred by the client.
As I do this, some name ideas pop to the surface, but the main idea is to get on paper as many words I can use as a foundation that might lead me to unique combinations. They, in turn lead to other ideas and directions which I’ll share in the next tips blog.
PS: The same checklists I’ve shared here can be used for naming products, services, events as well.