2 minutes read
Everyone can agree that a brand’s name, aka “the name on the door,” is one of the most important elements of any brand. But unfortunately, anyone that’s gone through a brand naming process in the last 10 years knows that as much fun as the initial brainstorm is, it quickly becomes challenging and frustrating when you try to secure a trademark or a URL. A lot of clients have told us, “It seems like every name is owned by someone else”. It’s true, naming can be a little like the Wild West. So, how do you get a great name? At Starfish, naming is a strategic and creative process. As a branding agency, we have developed hundreds of names for companies and our success in this discipline is rooted in an ironclad, methodical, and thorough process that will minimize the subjectivity and successfully deliver brand names that are always original, memorable, and on strategy.
At Starfish, our naming process always starts with the brand strategy. This is the filter through which we assess the veracity, relevance and alliteration of a name. Without this filter, the process can fall into subjective assessment and “wordsmithing” without clear direction.
And, since different brand strategies will have different brand naming service needs, we’ll work through a structured brand naming process that considers a wide range of factors.
Brand naming can fall into multiple categories: new company name, new product name, new service name, and the like. Through all our naming projects, we have created a system for how we create a name.
First we establish naming criteria: uniqueness, relevance, memorability, alliteration, and rational etymology. We then create naming territories: descriptive, derivative, metaphorical, evocative, compounded, whimsical, etc. From there, we will create a presentation that contains the name, the origin, and the meaning.
Most often, our naming explorations will go through a few rounds where we are distilling and refining along the way. Not every name makes the presentation list. We are quite judicious. There’s more rigor involved than just ideation. Our brand naming process also includes domain and name trademark searches. all of our names are vetted and reviewed through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) prior to presentation. Lastly, all names are reviewed for any and all category and class conflicts.
As we said, naming is a process. It requires diligence, expertise, and a genuine passion for getting it right.
If you’re curious about our name Starfish, there is a good and relevant story behind, which we’d be happy to share with you.