Before you can develop an effective name for a brand or product, you need to do some homework. Rush headlong into the brainstorming process without asking some questions and setting some parameters, and you’re almost certain to be wasting your time. (We discussed the challenges of creating brand and product names in Part I of this series.)
Here is some information we request from our clients before we begin work on a name:
- Complete product description: what it does, how it works, what makes it different/superior, etc.
- Description of the person buying or using the product. What is important to them?
- Product attributes the name should convey (e.g., ease of use, speed, durability, the results it produces, etc.)
- Are there any client-imposed prohibitions (e.g., name can’t have the letter “X” or the word “green” in it, can’t have any military connotations, etc.)?
- Does the competition have a similar product? What is it called?
- What kind of tone should the name convey (e.g., aggressive, relaxing, friendly, reliable, etc.)?
- Does the parent brand have an established and recognizable image that the name should relate to?
- Does the name need to relate to other names in the product line (e.g., are all the products named after an animal)?
- Does it matter if the name is literal (Quarter-Pounder, Shop-Vac) or metaphorical (Whopper, Dirt Devil)?
- Are you open to having a coined name created, providing it conveys the appropriate attitude and imagery?
Asking these questions – and getting as many clear, definitive answers as possible – is crucial to creating a memorable, likable name that makes a positive connection to the customers.