Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

The Art + Science of Naming A New Product

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After spending months or even years perfecting the key attributes of a new product, you are finally ready to launch it. Beta testing is over, the kinks are all worked out, you know the best features and they are glitch free. Yet, you have not been able to land on a name. It is pretty hard to create a go-to-market plan until you have the name in hand. Time to put some time and attention into finding the perfect name.

Getting the Process Started

Deciding on a name is part art and part science. The art is that there are words, and poetry, and brainstorming techniques, mixed together with passion, fun, your team’s input, and a wee bit of luck. The science is following a proven process, validating the top choices, and performing due diligence for legalities and trademarks.

Let’s start with the process and sprinkle the art in along the way. The first step is to gather all the topline information about the product, your target customers, the marketplace, and competitors. Channel all you know into a Naming brief. Gather a team and share the basics with them. Sample the product or pass it around for everyone to see and understand. Discuss the unique selling position and the key attributes of the product.

Start With Art

Now comes the art. Begin with the end in mind. You want a name. A darn good name. One that distills the business, and brand, and key attributes into a word or two that can represent the idea, emotion, and/or the who, what, where, why of your product.

Just start throwing words out there. On a chalkboard, whiteboard, or on post-it paper affixed to the wall. Categorize the names by style, are they classic, intriguing, clever, emotional, or experiential? Build upon each other’s words and continue to come up with new ideas.

If you start to stall google competitive names, look at poetry, peruse trendy magazines, look at movie titles, research industry websites and trends in your field. Search for interesting names, action words, words that resonate, and unique combinations of words. Have a blast with the creative and artsy side of the project. Continue to brand name development.

Science Validates the Creativity

Back to the science. The more people who take part in ideating and determining the name the broader possibilities  you will get.  At Squadhelp we often have 70 to 100 creatives working on single brand name development projects. They are all professionals, which is incredibly helpful. When working with people who have never done this before sometimes it can be slow going. Time for art to kick in again… Best to play some icebreaker excersizes, serve food and drinks, and have candy and fun little games to play.

Next Steps

When you have reviewed, revised, tried again and again, and gotten lots of feedback and settled on a half dozen names, it’s time to move into science again. This time it is in the form of consumer validation. At Squadhelp we like to ask 100 people what they think about your top 6 names and get feedback from either a specific demographic or the general population. This really helps scientifically hone the artistic choices that were part of the journey. The validation phase helps determine who the final 1 to 3 names are. Legal due diligence can tell you exactly which names are the lowest risk and the best bet for Trademark reasons. Legal is part art and science itself. Read more on legal aspect here.

Conclusion

The end game, an incredibly memorable name that can speak for your business. It was only a matter of art + science. With a new name in hand, it is now time to go to market launching your new product. Wishing you much success!

About the author

kathleen
Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

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