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Naming in an A.I. Age Episode #11

How does the inundation of AI name generators affect the world of name creation and development? Join Mike and Adelaide discuss the benefits and the legal barriers of leveraging AI technology in the creative process and listen along as they dig further into the age of AI.

Episode 11 of “Naming in an AI Age” Podcast 

Adelaide Brown: 

Hi, and welcome to another episode of “Naming in an AI Age.” Today is all about the AI age, the latter part of our title. I’m here again with Mike Carr, NameStormers CEO and Founder, and he is gonna talk to us directly about whether or not it’s easier or harder to come up with a name in this age with all of these AI name generators, um, and whatnot that seem to be popping up here and there. So, take it away, Mike.  

Mike Carr: 

Thank you, Adelaide. So, our experience has been in the last month or two, and that sort of segues off the last few years, that naming is actually becoming easier. However, coming up with a name that you can use is becoming harder. And, and so there are lots of AI generated naming solutions out there today. At last count, we, I don’t know, we had well over a couple dozen from all over the world, and they’re getting better and better right as ChatGPT uh, matures and as people build better frontends and better API, uh, integrations in with the data you’re starting to see, uh, names that are becoming more and more interesting, more nuanced.  

The problem is because ChatGPT and, and AI in general, is using the data that’s out there. 

These names tend to be very similar to a lot of other names, and so you end up running up against all kinds of trademark issues. So, what we’re finding is people are getting super excited about these names, only to find out they can’t use the name because of a possible potential trademark issue where the dot com’s already taken, or all the social media handles are gone, or it means something offensive in some language. So while name, generation or name creation is arguably going to become easier and easier, it’s only becoming harder and harder to actually find a name that you can use, and I think that’s gonna just create a lot of frustration and a lot of angst whether you’re doing this yourself for your own company, whether you have a team internally, you’re developing names for your crew and, and so that’s just the nature of the beast that we’ve seen developing, if that makes sense.  

Adelaide Brown: 

That makes a ton of sense. So, there are even more generation and those are only going to be used, as they’re used more regularly, it’ll only become more diluted and harder to find those key aspects of business, or touchstones to business, like the Instagram handle, the Facebook page, all of the titles and trademarks that are taken. Um, and then you run into the issue of whether or not the name resonates with consumers. Even if it resonates with you and your team, how do you go about proving that greater resonation? 

Mike Carr: 

And that’s really important, right? And, and we used to be part of Nielsen, the market research firm, so we have roots in quantitative research, but naming research is a very different animal. Uh, people simply react to a name, they don’t typically think about a name. And so, in, not just figuring out if the name’s legally available, right, can you use it from a trademark infringement standpoint and from all these other legal barriers or from all these other linguistic and cultural barriers, but does the name, you know, resonate with your external target? And, and the way we like to do that is we present names in context, whether it’s on the package or on the automobile, or on the website or on the app. And we monitor behavior, right? And so, we’re looking at okay, targeted customers, are they immediately picking a name, uh, with almost very little thought, and are they scoring it reasonably well? Right. So, we, we don’t necessarily want a name that scores at the top, uh, but we definitely want a name that garners, that initial sort of cutting through the noise, it grabs their attention, it resonates with them, and it’s sticky. One of the characteristics of that kind of a name that you should look for when you’re developing your own names is an emotional hook or a visual association. Names that engage someone on the right side of the brain; the more creative, emotional, visual side tend to be much more memorable, much stickier, and much more breakthrough and attention grabbing than the names that resonate on the left side of the brain. Which is the more descriptive, the more analytical, the more logical. And depending upon the nature of your team or whom you’re trying to please internally, a lot of those folks might be very analytical-oriented, they might be very logical thinkers and so they might bias what they prefer to the more descriptive or the names that are more suggestive.  

Yet our research has shown time and time again that names that aren’t necessarily descriptive at all, but they have that visual association that’s compelling where they have, uh, an emotional hook that sort of is interesting or exciting, that is typically a better way to go. Almost all of our customers’ targets, whether it’s a consumer target, whether it’s a B2B target, whether it’s high income, low income, male versus female, it doesn’t really make any difference. That’s what we’ve learned from doing this for a few decades. 

Adelaide Brown: 

And it’s been proven again and again as so many clients will come back to us even for, specifically for, the name testing portion, um, after we’ve gone through a couple of name generation, um, projects with them. So stands the test of time.  

Well, thank you Mike for talking about this and how AI, whether the new generators are effective or not. Um, on more technical terms or just really the usage and availability. Um, next week y’all are in for a treat. You’re gonna get to meet a couple new members of our NameStormers team. Um, we’ll have Megan Dzialo and Ashley Elliott here to talk about the Gen Z versus Millennial way of thinking with naming and branding. Um, so get excited. Thanks, Mike. 

Mike Carr: 

Thank you, Adelaide. See you guys. 

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