STARTING SOMETHING NEW, OR RECHARGING SOMETHING OLD?
How do you go about naming it?
Soon-to-be parents can spend the whole nine months finding the right name for their baby only for an off-hand nickname to be the thing that sticks.
What makes naming a company/product/service any different?
Having recently been through naming the process ourselves we thought we’d share our journey and a few top tips for surviving the process.
WHERE TO START?
The best place to start is with what it is your doing and how you do it: Marketing is what we do and the key to our marketing is simplicity.
There are a lot of marketing companies out there and many with ‘simplicity’ in their name. Nearly all variations of ‘simple’, ‘simplicity’ or ‘simplicity marketing’ were already taken.
There was ‘marketing simplified’, admittedly not the slickest phasing from our point of view, but it did what it said on the tin. Discussed it with my partner… apparently that sounded w*nky!
TRY, TRY AND TRY AGAIN
We tried variations based on our names or things we liked personally, but they we’re getting away from what we wanted to be. They’d be to complicated to explain and complicated was definitely not the aim!
At this point, it was time to bring in the professionals. We may be marketing strategy and planning professionals, but sometimes we all need an outside party to look objectively at our work and provide a different point of view.
CALL IN THE EXPERTS
Cue Chris Muir from We are Ideas.
Chris is an awarding winning creative copywriter who has had his work featured in the hallowed pages of the D&AD (aka The Oscars of the advertising world). We’ve worked together on a few different clients over the years and he has always just ‘got it’. Whatever the needs of the client or the project, he always delivered.
So, in true back to basics style, we wrote a brief. A good exercise in itself: writing down our values, aims, proposition etc helped to see it in a different light, as more than just the plans in our head. What would someone else think when they read this?
Chris came back with a wrath of suggestions, many of which were similar to our own, which is always a nice feeling, confirms you’re on the right track.
But a few stood out as different.
There was one in particular that struck a chord. We liked the idea of the meaning behind it, but something about the word itself didn’t ring true for us.
FUTRPRFCT (Pronounced: Future Perfect)
We liked the inclusion of future, we liked the meaning – getting things done. But we couldn’t get past the word perfect.
STAY TRUE TO YOUR VALUES
We do not believe in perfection. There is no such thing as a perfect solution or plan. There are always many ways of achieving a goal and each way will no doubt have some ups and downs but there is no perfect way.
In entrepreneurial circles, ‘perfection’ can even be seen as a kiss of death:
‘For far too many struggling entrepreneurs, the pursuit of perfection is what ultimately does them in.’
So, no, ‘perfect’ wasn’t quite the right fit for us.
And in true collaboration style, we fed this back to Chris and he came up with a great alternative. One, that if we hadn’t just said we didn’t believe in the concept of, we would have said was perfect!
FUTRSMPL. (Pronounced: Future Simple)
Definition: a form of the verb that refers to an action or event that has not yet begun. It is also used to make a prediction or to show ability, intention, or determination.
The meaning suited our aims, it contained the word ‘simple’, everything we want to be and it was available. Prfct! Well, I’m not usually a fan of messing with standard spelling or having to explain how something is pronounced. But you know what, 2 out of 3, (or 3 out 5 in this case) is sometimes as good as it needs to be.
SO HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THE ‘PERFECT’ BRAND NAME?
1 Throw ‘perfection’ out of the window
The pursuit of it may mean you never move forward at all
2 Write a brief
Get it all down on paper, distill it, imagine someone else reading it, would they see the brand you see? (handy brief templates are available from template.net)
3 Answer your brief.
Give it go, you know your brand best, the intonations and language used, the aspirations for it. You might stumble across something amazing.
4 Call in the experts.
Know your limitations. We can’t be great at everything, you do your thing really well and draft in help in the areas you don’t – let them do their thing really well for you.
Don’t be afraid give or ask for feedback, and be honest – a little guidance can pay dividends.
6 Make sure no one else already has it.
Check the url, check companies house, check the use of the name in other countries, make sure it is unique or at least as unique as you need it to be for goals.
7 Own it.
A brand isn’t just about the name, it’s the values, service and knowledge behind it. So whether you’re 100% or 70% happy with the outcome: own it. Own your brand name and use those underpinnings to make it strong.
If you are feeling like it’s time to call in the experts for your next project, why not give us a call, if we can’t help, we will probably know someone who can!