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Sometimes it just happens … the great name ideas just start spewing forth during your 1st creative brainstorming session and everybody on the team is pumped.  And sometimes the creative process doesn’t happen.  That is, after days of ideation nothing seems to resonate.  Or your best ideas aren’t passing legal’s TM screenings or clearing your dot-com URL checks.  Or maybe you’re excited about the names but your client isn’t.

So what do you do?  Well, during a recent engagement we had a similar experience.  We pitched the first round to the client and didn’t receive the smiles we were expecting.  So, we started asking lots of questions.  Questions like:

  1. Which of the names are the best of the bunch, even though you aren’t that excited about them?
  2. Let’s revisit the original naming goals and objectives and talk about where we missed the boat?
  3. Describe to us again your target, and how you suspect they will react to some of these names?
  4. Give us a few more examples of names you think might work with some tweaking?  Explain your thinking behind each?

The key to this session is that we REALLY LISTENED. We weren’t trying to justify or defend. We were trying to learn. We took copious notes, studied them and then we considered:

  1. Changing the mix of techniques we’re using, perhaps placing more emphasis on a linguistic architecture approach and less on free-form word association.
  2. Revamping the team, dropping some members and adding others.
  3. Taking everybody out to the ice cream parlor and talking about how much fun we’re going to have during the next creative session, especially after everyone is pumped full of Blue Bell Chocolate Extreme (arguably the best chocolate ice cream in the world).

After some changes and head-scratching the creative juices started flowing, the enthusiasm returned but this time it was more focused and on-track, and we all felt better about what was surfacing.  And sure enough, when we went back to the client and presented the new ideas, the accolades and smiles greeted us.

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