5 essential steps in a naming process


Sometimes, people believe that a naming process includes only a free and funny brainstorming session.  A few people drinking beer and eating pizza in a conference room are finding creative names for the next product launch. After three hours, for sure, they have at least 100 glorious naming options and now they can start play Fifa ’19 on Play Station.

But things aren’t that simple. You can still drink beer, eat pizza and play a video game if you want to relax, but most probably these actions won’t lead you to the next perfect product name. Besides doing these activities, you should also add the next 5 essential steps and, for sure, things will get improved around.

  • “Saint Brief”
  • Eyes on the Competition
  • Direction comes first
  • Two types of naming creators: More “Artist” or More “Engineer”
  • Trademark and linguistic screening
  1. “Saint Brief”

We think that no one can have the perfect answers before asking the right questions. It’s very important never start a naming project without a proper brief. Always create a brief which contains all the important questions about the general vision for the new product or brand, the future commercial objectives, the product’s specifications, the target audience, the competition, the markets where the product will be sold and so on. In some specific cases, we use to make two different briefs to be shared with the marketing/branding team and the product development/engineering teams. Both teams have important insights and it’s essential to get to a common point between them. You can find from this article why. In the future we will share with you an article about how to do a proper naming brief.

  1. Eyes on the competition

Unfortunately, in many cases the competition’s names are used for inspiration and sometimes even for copying their naming style and sound. This is very wrong! It’s important to analyze your competition but the main purpose should be the following:

  • Analyzing what types of names is using the competition. There are four main types of names: descriptive, suggestive, metaphorical and invented. You can read more in this article about them.
  • Make a table where you can classify them as we’ve mentioned above.
  • See in which column is the highest number of names
  • Try to eliminate the exact category used by most of your competitors. If they are using mainly descriptive names, you should think about a suggestive name. Don’t go to far from the most used category. For example, if they are using mainly descriptive names, don’t go for invented names. Find the closest “empty spot”.
  1. Direction comes first

Before the classic brainstorming, it’s very important to eliminate from the infinity of options. First, you have eliminated some options by choosing the right type of naming option. Now you must find a clear direction where to search for. If you must name a technical product, you may be inspired by certain topics like key benefits of the product, key functionalities, key differences of your product, other fields which may be compared or related with your product’s qualities. If you will find a clear direction, it will be easier to find the perfect name than searching in every corner of the life or every corner of the English language.

  1. Two types of naming creators: More “Artist” or More “Engineer”

When it comes of naming creation, there are two important types of naming creators. The creative ones who just “feel” what to do and they use to go with the flow and the engineer style. The “Engineer” style is more focused on respecting some important rules like phonetics, sound, audibility, rules of word combination and various linguistic “games”. Usually, when you are working with a naming agency, the naming specialists from here are having both styles. They are creative, but they are also respecting a specific set of rules for creating new names. You can read more about certain phonetics tactics in this article. If you understand these rules, it will become simpler to engage into the brainstorming naming process.

  1. Trademark and linguistic screening

Never, but never get excited about a brand or product name before checking its trademark availability. Also, keep it in mind: Never start the branding process, before assuring that:

  • The chosen name is available for registering it as a trademark
  • A lawyer has checked the name’s chances to be registered
  • You have started the trademark registration procedure

Having a wonderful name which will never be yours because it already belongs to another company can be a very painful and expensive experience.

Also, if you are planning to launch your brand or product in many countries, take into consideration to make a professional linguistic screening. If you will do this part, you may have embarrassing problems like the ones from this article.

A professional naming process is not an easy task. You may do it yourself and you have two more other options. Take in your team also a naming consultant who can simplify your tasks and clarify your naming vision. Or share the entire task to a naming agency which can do this for you anytime. If you need help with your naming process, we are here. Write us more about your naming project.

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