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There are three groups of people to consider when embarking the naming process:

1. Decision-maker group:

This is the core team who’ll decide on the brief, review name candidates and be the main day to day group to work with an agency and get down to a shortlist.

2. Information rights holders:

These are people not involved in the day-to-day of the project but may be consulted at the start of a project; perhaps through interviews or participation in the kick-off meeting. This group won’t attend name presentations or experience the process but they will be informed of the final decision.

3. Veto group:

Usually the CEO or perhaps a senior member of a VC or PE firm if the name relates to a portfolio company. Veto group folks reserve the right to say ‘no’ if they don’t like the name. These people often see the final name (or perhaps the top 3) at the end of the process (and always AFTER trademark searches have been completed). It’s important that the Veto group are informed early that a naming effort is underway and we always try to schedule a quick 15-30 min call to engage them and understand any preferences or hangups they have about names.

So, before you start a naming project, be aware of these groups. Failure to understand, engage/manage any one of these three groups can derail a naming project.

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