Naming Tip: Number 47 in a Series

For the last couple of weeks I’ve blogged about the process I used in a recent naming project. I’m still at it.

I mentioned the need to generate large lists of words that can describe or be positively associated with the product or company being named. I certainly advocated a good thesaurus to dig for synonyms for the words my client had indicated were good descriptions of his company’s personality and attributes.

Then I arrayed those words in a “mind map” so I’d have a visual method of seeing and drawing relationships between words from different groups.

But I wanted to go further. I also wanted to find words that are closely associated with the original terms without necessarily being synonyms. I’m looking for word associations.

I know of no book that does this for you. The closest is the Random House Word Menu by Stephen Glazier. It organizes language by subject matter. Their own jacket blurb states the book is “A merging of dictionary, thesaurus, treasury of glossaries, reverse dictionary, and almanac…” I find it immensely valuable as a source of name parts and name candidates.”

Then there’s the software I mentioned briefly in the Naming Tip 46: Thought Office. This is relatively new in its present form and name, but it evolved from the Idea Fisher software project of the early 1990’s. It is a source of word associations as well as synonyms, song lyrics, words that rhyme, quotes and images for any word or phrase you ask it to help you with.

Here’s an example of word associations it provided for the word, romance: moonlight, Valentino, candles, roses, perfume, France. In fact, over 300 words were presented. Of course most were not relevant in some way or another. But I added about 80 words that were.

Thought Office is not just a word retriever, although I use it mostly for that application. It also has a ”topic” section. You can acquire specific application modules to run from the topic section. Essentially these are organized lists of questions concerning your topic. By answering them, you can develop strategic plans, movie scripts, new product development. And yes, there’s a naming module.

By the time you’ve completed the questions from the naming topic, you have a very targeted naming brief. And if you’ve been reading this series, you know how important I believe a good naming brief can be in the naming process.

Anyway, if you’d like to learn more about Thought Office and how it can help you with many of your creative projects, just click Thought Office and check it out.

Martin Jelsema

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