Naming Process

Naming is like mining for diamonds: You have to know where to dig. You have to move a lot of dirt. You have to sort and sift. You have to polish and promote. All this and more in order to find the perfect diamond for a given person – or the perfect name for a particular company or product.

How to name a new company or product

Brighter Naming can provide results for a fixed price because we have a proven name development process. Our methodology involves developing lots of names, sorting through them, searching and checking, and for bringing management teams to consensus. You wouldn’t set out to explore the world without a map, a plan, and an experienced guide. So why would you set out to explore the world of names without a procedure and a plan?

Naming is a creative science – not a creative art. It is both left brain and right brain (See Brains for more details). We drive creativity and decision making via a procedural method to ensure convergence. Just like we used to drive software systems many years ago. There is still plenty of room for the individual nuances, ideas and styles, as long as the whole team focuses on the final goal and project deadlines.

The days of a magic name jumping off the page are long gone. As are the days of doodling with a fat pencil and a dictionary. Not to mention having round table brainstorming sessions. Almost by definition, the names that will be recalled in these old methodologies will be taken – that is why they are known after all!

#NamingProcess: While each project is slightly different, here is the basic naming framework we work from:

1 Personality and marketplace research Naming team members complete questionnaire and provide all pertinent marketing data.
2 Kick off (1/2 hr) Team interviewed by Brighter Naming and briefed on process and any unanswered issues.
3 Master generation Name brief is sent to proven namers, and hundreds of fresh names are generated (typically over 400 for a new company name). We use male and female, local and international, east and west coast on all full-service projects. Plus we have thousands of names, roots, themes and concepts in our name database to draw from.
4 Initial sort and search Project lead sorts and selects, with very provisional checks, 80+ names for initial list.
5 First naming meeting (1.5 hrs) Initial list presented. Meeting facilitated to narrow down to 20 or so, along with roots, tones, themes, writeins for further exploration.
6 Search and regeneration Surviving names are checked more closely for registered and common law trademark usage. Specific new checked names added as well.
7 Second naming meeting (1hr) Quarter final names presented with provisional checks and meanings. Facilitated to converge on 10 or so names for semi final list.
8 Thorough search of semifinal names, plus initial linguistics Brighter naming will perform a very comprehensive double check of all names that have survived so far, as well as provisional linguistics on any names that do not have directly obvious roots and meanings.
9 Semi final naming meeting (1hr) Semi final names presented with comprehensive checks, and facilitated to narrow down on final 3 name candidates.
10 Final name checks Top 3 names are sent to your legal counsel. Full linguistics and phonetics reports are developed in top business languages of the world for coined words.
11 Final name selection (1/2 hr) All reports are presented and reviewed, and naming committee selects winning name.
12 New name process and launch Brighter Naming provides written recommendation on how to register, use and launch the new name once approved by your legal counsel.

A streamlined naming process – 3 weeks (or less) start to finish!

People Powered – with help if needed from Name Generators

One of the premises in starting our first naming agency was that computers could greatly help with the process, if not even generate good names. Well here we are over 18 years later, and guess what? We make up names with humans. Yes, some very special people that have a talent for making up a large number of names in a hurry.

A rusty old name generator. Never did work right.

After looking at ever program, piece of software, website or what have you, we now realize that computers will never pick up on the subtlety of tone, image and implied messaging. One simple example might be that a computer could combine name lists and come up with the name CoceCola, but would not know the magical power of tweaking one letter and making CocaCola!

One of the best compliments we have had over the years was “Your names sound like they should be in the dictionary!” The fact they are not means that they have a much better chance of being available and protectable by a strong trademark. And this is why we use the hashtag #namingexpert.

PS We do, however, provide our professional namers with some special tools to help them ensure on time and thorough delivery of good names. And we were the first to computerize the back end of our process so that we can track thousands of names. In fact, we track every name we touch, however briefly that might be. This database is also what allows us to handle emergency projects and still produce a broad selection of names.

UPDATE: Now we realize we have a Name Generator. See all the details on generating a top professional name.

See also the article How to select a naming agency to compare our methodology with others.