1. CONFIRM THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION-MAKERS
Before you do anything, figure out who needs to be involved. Who’s in charge? and when the right time is to engage different stakeholders? With corporate names, the final name decision will eventually go up to the CEO so we always recommend a quick chat with them first if possible.
2. CREATE A PRECISE BRIEF
Our proprietary NamingBlueprint™ brief provides creative guidance and clarity to our naming team without constraining creativity. The Blueprint also serves as a strategic framework for clients to objectively evaluate presented name ideas.
3. PRE-DETERMINE THE BEST NAME TYPE
Determine which of the 7 unique types of names are right for your brand (see Jonathan Bell TED Talk ‘How to create a great brand name’) and also figure out the core ‘idea’ you’d like to communicate in a name (note: a robust brand positioning helps a lot here). Some names naturally fall out of the positioning: we created the name Cingular directly from the positioning idea “cellular technology, singular point of contact”.
4. GET LEGAL INVOLVED EARLY
Engage TM counsel early to understand their timelines, risk tolerances and trademark classes they look at. It’s important to get them primed and ready to search names before you get to a final shortlist. And, keep in mind, there’s probably a 95% failure rate on name ideas because of trademark conflicts.
5. DON’T VEER FROM THE PROCESS
Our unique naming funnel starts wide with hundreds of ideas and within 4 weeks arrives at a shortlist of 5-10 names. Never try to short circuit the process by picking out one name too early and then ignore all others; there’s a good chance it will fall out.
6. BE PATIENT: CONSENSUS-BUILDING & OPEN-MINDEDNESS ARE ALL ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS
“Eureka” names where everyone magically agrees are like unicorns. Be patient, stay positive and look for ways to collaborate with decision-makers to reach consensus on name preferences. And, don’t look for the perfect name – names become perfect with 20/20 hindsight.