5 Essential Questions Before You Start Your Naming Project29 Jul 2013
1. Who are the decision makers?
With naming, there’s a danger in involving too many people in the process. It’s often tempting to invite folks on the fringe of the project who only really have information rights (but not decision making rights) or who you think might be good creative, name generators.
Finally, who’s the final decision-maker? Often it’s the CMO or CEO.
Determine what level of engagement this person needs. Some CEOs simply want a final blessing once the project is over, others want to be more involved in the process.
Overall, the fewer decision-makers, the better. Naming can’t be done democratically by consensus.
2. Is this one standalone name or part of a family of products?
Where does the product/service or offering fit within the company? Is this a truly standalone product or will there be other related SKUs – how will it relate to similar products at the company?
3. What’s the timing?
When is the launch? Is there an external or internal milestone we’re looking to create a name by?
Timing can impact the scope of a process. Longer lead times can allow for things like internal brainstoming sessions, development of positioning statements, and name evaluation research once a final set of candidates is agreed upon. Shorter lead times require strong internal alignment – from meeting availability of stakeholders to ensuring client’s legal counsel is ‘ready to go’ with expedited TM searches
4. What are the markets/countries?
Is this a US only launch or are there plans to take the product to international markets? If so, which ones?
Ensuring TM viability in those markets as well as performing in-depth linguistic results are essential too. These steps can add significant time to a naming process, potentially impeding launch dates.
5. What’s the strategy? Positioning?
Having a strong positioning statement creates focus before name creation begins. Cingular was created because it outlined a clear strategic positioning ‘cellular technology and a singular point of contact’. Of course, not every name needs to be such a direct abstraction of the positioning, but having a clear, well thought-out strategic positioning is the heart of a strong naming brief.