What's in a Name?
A name, whether a company's name, a product or service, seems so obvious to us, that we never really think about the naming process behind it. Even names that have created a branding revolution such as iPhone that introduced the "iRevolution" or the arched M for "McDonalds", seems naturally just right to us. Well, apparently there is nothing obvious or natural about a name. In fact, according to Alan Siegal, CEO of Siegelvision, "Naming is the hardest part of branding".
Naming is an emotional process with multiple subjective facets to it. Come to think of it, we all have associations with certain sounds, words, pronunciations and memories, all of which highly affect the naming process.
A company's name needs to encapsulate: the company, its' people, products, services, industries, differentiation, positioning, values, USPs' (unique selling points), innovation and sometimes even more into a single word.
Now that we are starting to understand what's in a name, the question is how? How do we pack all the above into a single word? First step: prioritization.
Out of a whole long list - what are the top three highlights of each category? What are your main markets? Your main solutions? Technology? Innovation?
Your next question WHO?
Who are your top clients? What is their pain point? What are they searching for? What are their challenges and needs?
What is your top service/solution?
What is it that you're selling? A technology? A product? Solution? Platform? What is unique about it? What are your USPs'?
By the way, an encompassing branding process will do all that for you and more.
Now that we have established a focused profile of who we are and what it is that we sell, it is time to think outside-the-box and get creative. Here are some tools that can provide some naming concepts to think about:
Naming concepts can be based on various formats such as:
Sound based format – Do we want certain sounds that can convey our industry? Technology? Market segment? Are there any sounds we want to avoid? This question is particularly crucial when naming a global product or company. Not all sounds and letters are available in all languages and that can be a challenge for some regions. You want to keep that in mind. How about Nike? Bic? Zapper? Loopy? Are these names good enough?
Metaphors – Can a metaphor present your company? Or perhaps an unrelated metaphor that can add a meaning or value such as: Apple Inc., Amazon, Jaguar, Elure skin care products.
Word based format - Can a single word or two words (maxium) convey a value that is important to you or the essence of your product? How about Coca-Cola based on the Coca leaves and Kola nuts used to make the drink. Tactile Mobility – reflecting the strong grasp the car has on the road. Medial EarlySign applies artificial intelligence technology to detect early warning signals and health risks.
We hope these few concept directions provided a new naming horizon to jumpstart your creative thinking caps.
Most importantly take notice of all the new things you learn about your company, product, industry along the way; these can also make an interesting naming concept, and don't forget to enjoy the process.
Michal Gat is VP of Business Development at TitanBrandWise. TitanBrandWise is a global branding firm that works with businesses to define, create and nurture effective, cross-platform branding experiences that cultivate business growth, engage with customers and raise awareness.