We’re fast. Our record for an initial round of names is 48 hours. Typically it takes just 3 to 4 weeks per project. We work with you until you’re happy for a flat fee. Here is what we do:
We start by collecting information. We start with you. Then your competitors. Then the marketplace.
- What do you want your new product name, service name or company name to do?
- What are your brand archetypes (e.g. Hero, Sage, Explorer, Magician …)?
- What is your positioning and unique value proposition? Have you done a SWOT analysis?
- What personality do you want the name to reflect?
- Describe your prospective customer today? Tomorrow?
- When and where will your new name be used?
- Who are your competitors? Where is the competitive opportunity?
- What name ideas have already been considered and dismissed and why?
- What are some names you like and don’t like and why?
After refining the Briefing outline with you, we begin internal brainstorming and name ideation sessions. We might identify the emotions associated with your brand’s archetypes, develop a list of key adjectives that relate to your offering, or focus on the attributes that differentiate you in the marketplace. We go down multiple paths during our name development to give you a full menu of choices, especially in the initial round.
For example, if you need a name for a line of extra large, “fancy” doughnuts we might identify “Textures” and “Shapes” as two dimensions to explore. We may then come up with specific name candidates like RingLeaders or Softballs (yes, these are extra large doughnuts!) after pondering related word, concept and semantic associations.
Some of our team members feel that naming a business, product, or service is more of a science than an art, and may start by following a linguistic architecture or sound symbolism approach. Others start with nothing more than a blank sheet of paper and an extended trip to their favorite doughnut shop or retail venue. And so on. The backgrounds and approaches NameStormers’ team members follow vary as greatly as the brand names we create.
NameStormers can pre-screen all of our better name ideas for U.S. Federal, State and/or Canadian trademark issues, common law usage issues and dot-com status to weed out those that have likely conflicts before presentation to you.
We can also take your favorite names through a deeper preliminary trademark screening which typically includes checking for:
- Global trademarks in many key markets around the world
- Profane or vulgar meanings in other languages
- App names, social media handles, COLA searches and more
If you’re not satisfied with the names that make it through the deeper screenings, NameStormers will repeat our creative and trademark pre-screening steps as many times as needed, until you’re satisfied with the final name, at no additional charge.
NameStormers presents the names that have passed our screenings to you. We provide you with the rationale behind each name as well as many tagline ideas to help frame the name in a context similar to the way your customers might see it.
We will then ask you to evaluate each of the name ideas in three ways:
- Your initial, intuitive reaction and rating
- A deeper pondering, where you consider the name’s potential to grow into a strong, distinctive brand with the right care and feeding, such as the right graphics, promotion, advertising and other marketing communications wrapped around the name
- And stickiness or memorability, the single most important characteristic of a great name
NameStormers discusses the thinking behind your favorite names, your other comments and your new name suggestions and uses all of your feedback for the next round of name development.
For your short list of favorite names we can also help you survey others in your organization to collect their rankings and comments. The name rankings can be analyzed by average score, number of votes received or other metrics. We recap the feedback for each name by individual, sales office or country, including specific comments and new name suggestions. We then review all feedback with you, using it to guide the development of more focused and on-target names.
This creative, name generation and ideation process is repeated as many times as necessary, at no additional charge, until you are satisfied with your short list of name ideas. Typically, this requires two or three rounds of names over a two to three week period, although this time frame can be compressed or expanded, as necessary.
We often perform a customer validation study during this name development process, typically after the 2nd round. That is, we will present your top names to a few hundred prospective customers as a reality check, making sure they agree with the direction we are headed and see if they have any other suggestions.
You may also want to consider one of our optional services at this point like Global Cultural & Linguistic Screening. This more in-depth preliminary linguistic and cultural screening process uses multiple linguists that live in each of the countries you are targeting to evaluate names on a variety of criteria including contemporary usage issues, pronunciation, likelihood of confusion and more.
Optional Quantitative Name Evaluation Research
In addition to the customer validation study, NameStormers can test your top names in a much more thorough manner with a larger number of targeted prospects. This testing includes asking a few standard questions to see how well your names are performing compared to many other names we have tested over the years. The testing also includes asking some open-ended questions to provide useful insights into why certain names are preferred over others. And we often conduct a second, follow-up memorability study to assess the “stickiness” of each name.
Key deliverables from this Name Evaluation Research step include:
- Top line report containing key results within a week of fielding the research
- Recap of insights regarding each name’s compatibility with concept, ability to drive purchases / promote interest, differentiation from competitive names, and other key issues
- Analysis that is summarized in an Executive Summary together with specific recommendations and the supporting data
- Open-ended verbatims for your perusal
Upon completion, you’ll have a set of strong name candidates with supporting rationale, tag lines and preliminary screenings. Rationale that provides you with a solid understanding of how each name fits your positioning and differentiates you from the competition. If NameStormers also conducted name testing research, you’ll have the hard data, the comparisons to national norms and the customer insights needed to help you select your top name candidate.
Oftentimes, the initial launch of your new company or brand name pays for itself in just days or weeks, not months or years. Many of the brand names we’ve developed for clients have proven to generate an internal excitement and energy that is contagious, self-propagating, and almost viral in nature. It’s not uncommon for our clients to tell us things like, “We paid for the entire name development and roll-out effort with the first trade show!” This is what a great name is all about. That is what we will make sure your name can do for you.