It seems every naming company or branding guru has set down their criteria for naming a product or naming a company.
Iâ€™m an advocate of establishing a set of criteria based upon the specifics of the naming project as defined within a Naming Brief document.
The brief contains the creative direction all involved in the naming process should have up front. The criteria (the last chapter of the brief) should be thoroughly studied along with product characteristics, competitive postures, stakeholder perceptions and other subjects included in the brief.
I think it is necessary prior to beginning the naming process, even though some will say Iâ€™m limiting the creative process by imposing criteria too soon.
My experience is that criteria and direction focuses people but doesnâ€™t limit their ability to be creative. (Iâ€™ve blogged before that successful brainstorming is based on the participants being well-briefed prior to setting down for a session.)
So, over the next several blogs in this series Iâ€™ll discuss some sets of criteria other naming pros espouse. I suggest these as guidelines from which you can build your own set of criteria specifically for your next naming project.
Iâ€™m starting with the list published on the Strategic Name Development website. Specifically, this list is meant to evaluate how well a name sounds in an International context. Here are their words:
From phonemes to fricatives â€” what makes a great sounding name?
* easy to pronounce;
* short, preferably three or fewer syllables;
* well-balanced where vowels and consonants alternate evenly throughout;
* resonate and whether achieved through alliteration, haplology or poetics, when a great name sounds right, you just know it; and
* often imply speed and dominance; so when naming a business, keep in mind that some of the greatest brands (Barbie, Pepsi, Boeing, Procter & Gamble) begin with one of seven all-powerful consonants â€” B, C, D, G, K, P or T.
I certainly wonâ€™t quarrel with these criteria. The list certainly pinpoints several well-documented attributes of good naming practices. So Iâ€™d keep them in mind and used them as appropriate. But Iâ€™d also broaden my criteria. The sound is absolutely important but so are other criteria Iâ€™ll cover in subsequent blogs.