Natalie Pau: What's in a Naming?
[This is the third in an occasional series from our writing intern.]
Naming is difficult. Explaining the naming process? Even more so. People tend to think that naming is easy. After all, brand names are just everyday words such as Apple or even acronyms like GE. But once you attempt to name something, whether for pleasure or for business, you begin to understand the obstacles you have to tread through to arrive at the best name.
First of all, notice I said “best name” rather than the “perfect name”. Why? As I have learned, there is no such thing as the perfect name. Names get at the essence of a product or business, but there will never be a title perfect enough to completely epitomize a brand. Descriptions and reviews provide the audience with the substance of the product. Names are their leads designed to spark interest. You simply want name and product to align, at first. Through marketing, ultimately they will fuse.
Now onto the hard part, conceiving a name. Creating a name fit for a company or product requires more than the input of the client. To arrive at the best options you have to consider not only the cramped space of the marketplace but also the mindset of the customer. Imagine you are naming a product that makes emailing easier. You aren’t going to name it ‘SlugMail’ or ‘Downpost’. Those transmit negativity and the complete opposite of the product’s function.The real-life pitfalls are more nuanced, of course. But you get the idea.
The legality of names provide another twist in the process. You quickly discover the extent to which clever but obvious brand names are already taken, the creative directions behind them exhausted. To arrive at your name you have to make sure it is not only fresh and appropriate but also available—a consideration that becomes a little more challenging every day as a little bit more of the available ‘naming real estate’ is claimed by business.
So how do you create a good name these days? Research, time, and a dictionary are good starting points. Imagination, patience, and acceptance of failure are absolutely necessary.