Naming Tips – Number 20 in a series

Accumulate a naming “swipe” file.

This may be practical only for those who have three or four naming projects a year: i.e., “professional” namers because it needs time and patience to collect examples from many different sources.

But just like direct response copywriters collect compelling sales letters, it’s a good idea to collect good names and sources of name candidates. Not that you want to copy them, but they can lead to inspiration and connections.

First, you might want to keep a running list of those unique “aha” names you occasionally come across, names like Travelocity, Buzzoodle, Rare Bear, Fitzwell. Over time, that list can become an invaluable “idea sparker”.

Then, you might collect the unusual “last names” businesses could use instead of  the ordinary “Zone” or “Express”. (The newest “fan” name to stay away from: “Authority”. Here are fresh several examples: Cache, Grove, Prime, Yard. I’ve collected over 600 “last names”, and I refer to that list with almost every naming project. Though mostly applicable for naming a business, I’ve found perusing the list can help me intuit product names as well.

  1. Other swipe file contents might include lists of:Prefixes and suffixes
    Meaningful initials (MVP, PDQ)
    Positive idioms and phrases (fast forward, breathe easy, rest assured)
    Family names (Goodman, Weldon, Merrywell)
    Place names
    Active vowels

The best thing about this suggestion is that it’s open-ended. Any list you think might be helpful can be started just by beginning a new page in your “name idea” document. It’s fairly easy to accumulate candidates with a word processing program that allows you to periodically sort them in alphabetical order. At least that helps me feel like I’m organized.

Use your files for ideas and directions. The bigger they get, the more valuable those files become.

One thought on “Naming Tips – Number 20 in a series

  1. Have you checked out PostieCon? Branding as a way to build readership, monetization, and influence is such an important aspect to online branding and brand management… I think this is the kind of conference you might really dig, save for the fact that is it in Orlando in June!

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