Naming Tips – Number 31 in a Series

Continuing in the brand name evaluation process, Metaphor Naming Consultants  suggests the following five questions be asked about any name candidate whether it be for naming a product, service or company.

  • Is it appropriate and credible?
  • Is it appealing – pleasing to the ear and the eye?
  • Is it distinctive and unique among competitors?
  • Is it unambiguous – easy to spell and pronounce?
  • Is it available – can you legally own it?

Certainly these criteria can and should be applied to any name. You may add a criteria or two based on your particular market and/or offering , but as a general evaluation measure, these five criteria are essential.

But if you’re after a GREAT name, Metaphor suggests the following criteria be added to the evaluation process:

1. Does the name speak to the target audience? Does it address market needs/expectations?

2. Does the name illuminate the company/product positioning? Does it advance marketing objectives?

3. Does the name evoke a unique character/personality? Does it provide the cornerstone for brand development?

4. Does the name communicate key benefits (not features) to ensure longevity?

5. Does the name inspire promotional/advertising campaigns? Does it generate market interest?

Now these are difficult criteria to measure. You’ll argue among your team about certain candidates meeting them. But by asking the questions, you’ll easily eliminate many good-sounding but irrelevant candidates and discover an elite list of potential winners. They also provide a filter to reduce the reliance on emotional name selection.

As with other selection criteria, you may want to weight each in importance for your particular naming project. And in the end, you may even have to sacrifice one or two significant criteria because of a candidate’s strength in others.

Best of luck.

Martin Jelsema


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