Are you start at the start of your naming process? Don’t know where to begin or what you need to get the project starting on solid ground? Read this article before making any big mistakes.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to name their startup, product, or just about anything else, is using what we lovingly call the “spray and pray” methods. Founders, product developers, marketing professionals, or anyone else tasked with coming up with a great name write down everything they know about their project and hope that they will be graced with an awesome name–something that jumps out and feels perfect.
We have found that the naming process is less like a romance novel and more like detective fiction…systematic and somewhat cerebral (although there are definitely epiphanies along the way). Here is a framework that we recommend again and again to help struggling namers focus their efforts and find a great name.
Level 1: Business Strategy
At the base of the Naming Pyramid is your business strategy. This bottom level includes the broadest scope of your company: operations, marketing, finances, legal, HR, and any other factors that go into making your business function successfully. The truth is that most people don’t need to know about most of this information. Very few people need to know who cleans your floors, who does your taxes, and who fixes your computers.
Level 2: Brand
Your brand is how you present yourself to the world–your forward facing communication. This includes your homepage, story, mission, and other elements that are varied through your communications. Your brand will be represented through many platforms, across hundreds, likely thousands, of touchpoints with multiple stakeholder groups.
Level 3: Value Proposition
On the third level of the Pyramid lies your positioning. This is the short one or two sentence explanation of why you exist and why people should care. It’s your Value Positioning Statement, Unique Selling Proposition, or Elevator Pitch. It’s what you’d say to your first huge client if you only had 10 seconds to impress them or what you’d see to an investor if you’re trying to get $10 million in capital. It is a very, very succinct summary of your Business Strategy.
Level 4: Name
At the end of the day, your name should be a productive communication tool that supports your positioning in a relevant way. It aids you in taking your Value Proposition to market.
Your business is distilled into your brand, your brand into your Value Proposition–and at the top of the pyramid is your name, a single word or phrase that supports your Positioning. Blackstone Labs, Apple, MailChip, PayPal, Twitter, SalesForce, and Uber all accomplish very different goals with their names; but each excellently supported the business as it grew to greatness.
Voila…The Perfect Name
When creating your name, the Squadhelp Naming Pyramid will help you focus your efforts, and brainstorm names that are on point, allows you to direct your creative energy and find a meaningful name. Once you have a bulls eye for your name development project, you can return to the creative brainstorming process.
Yes. We know. This is all very interesting and philosophical. To bring this back down to earth, let’s look at the 5 Categories of Effective an Evocative Names.