Over the last couple of months, I have received countless emails from entrepreneurs requesting help on either coming up with a brand name or helping select from a short list of potential names. Although these friction points are on opposite ends of the naming journey, both have their unique challenges, from brand positioning to trademark screening to domain acquisition.
You’re a sophisticated marketer. You know that great names aren’t scribbled on a cocktail napkin at an impromptu brainstorming session after work. You’ve run your list through a preliminary trademark screen and you’re ready to pull the trigger. But have you done a linguistic check?
I can’t believe it, but I launched my naming blog over four years ago. At the time, I was working for a startup in Seattle and was inspired by the entrepreneurial energy. I made the commitment to launch a blog, but there seemed to be a blog for everything, even strange things like, Ryan Gosling’s Disneyland Cats, so I set a few requirements to structure it.
If you’ve struggled to come up with a strong name for your business, you are not alone. Entrepreneurs and small business owners spend more time than they anticipate trying to come up with a strong name for their new venture, or when renaming their existing business.
A namer? Is that actually a thing? That was my reaction seven years ago, when I was introduced to Nik Contis, the global director of our new naming practice. At the time, Nik and I worked for a large branding agency in New York City. I headed up our research division—which meant that I tackled questions about the marketplace, consumers and products. Which people should we target? How do they make buying decisions? What can we say or do to make sure they become customers? What should our pricing model be? What product features will result in the greatest market share?