Naming can be a complex beast. Whether for a product, company, or service, you want to come up with something that resonates with your target, and relates to your offering, all while giving you credibility in the face of your competitors.

We’ve done well to develop an internal naming process where we gather details about product, target, corporate personality, and competition before mapping out concepts which lead to related, suitable name options.

Even this process, however, invites surprise. Emotion can sometimes take the lead, as it did with Say Yeah, or you can find yourself staring down well-considered metaphoric, literal, and other options while someone comes in from left field with new party suggestions, as with Kipu.

Yet, in both of these cases, by understanding the product and recognizing the strategy behind it, we’ve been able recognize when we find a name that resonates with the company and product culture. In the end, it means we’ve settled on a name that makes it all the more easy to share our passion around the product. That’s really exciting!

Beyond that, you’ve got your due diligence to do. Trademark searching, domain registration (the most difficult area of compromise for any new product), along with linguistics and other research which is dependent on target and geography.

Marty Neumeier, who wrote the exceptional book, The Brand Gap, shared this slide a few years ago, highlighting key naming styles:

  • Descriptive
  • Suggestive
  • Metaphorical
  • Neological
  • Historical
  • Arbitrary

Once you’ve gathered product, target, marketing strategy, and competitive info, this is a good starting point for naming discussions. And if you want any help in this area, give us a shout. We love collaborating on such creative and fun challenges.