naming brief

9 Steps to Creating an Awesome Business Name: Part 4 – Creating A Naming Brief

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a series of posts outlining nine steps that will help you create the perfect name for your company, product, service, e-book, or app. This article will help you use the work you did in steps 1-3 to create a naming brief document. Read Parts 1, 2, and 3 here.

You’ve crafted personas, outlined a compelling Statement of Purpose, and worked out the finer details of what makes your brand unique. Now, it’s time to summarize all this information into a simple, condensed document that you can frequently refer to as you continue your naming process.

The document you are going to create is called a Naming Brief – a one- or two-page document that provides the essential information about your company. This document will serve as your guide when creating the perfect name for your business.

Creating Your Naming Brief

Your Naming Brief should begin with the Statement of Purpose that you created in Step 1. Following your Statement of Purpose should be a paragraph that briefly outlines your company story, a list of the emotions you want your brand to elicit, and an overview of what makes your product or service unique and exciting. Feel free to include any additional information that you deem relevant for your naming process.

The next section of your naming brief should be your personas that you created in Step 2, and the key selling points of your product or service. Next, briefly mention the types of names you like and don’t like, mentioning specific examples found when you undertook the modeling task in step 3. Don’t forget to mention the personality you want your name to portray – do you want it to be modern, serious, or quirky?

Once completed, your report should serve as essential reading for anyone you recruit to help you with the naming process – yourself included! The document will help you get started with your brainstorm, as well as keep you on track as your dive deep into your naming journey. Don’t overcomplicate things, however. You’ve already done the work – just make sure to summarize your findings succinctly and accurately.

Naming Types As A Guide

As you create your Naming Brief and start brainstorming, it’s important to be aware of the different naming categories that are common among business owners. When reading through the categories, you’ll likely find some that you gravitate towards, as well as others that you dislike or you feel won’t be a good fit for your brand.

Below are seven naming categories with examples taken from Squadhelp winning names, as well as the pros and cons of choosing a name from each category.

Descriptive: Describes what it is you do in a straightforward, no-frills manner.
Examples: Digital Peak, Petals & Pinot, and 8 Weeks to Amazing
PROS: Potential customers get a clear sense of your product or service.
CONS: A poor descriptive name can come across as dull or uninspiring.

Made up: Using a brand new word for your name. Coining entirely new words has become increasingly popular in the naming game.
Examples: Trola, Odyns, and Brio
PROS: Short made up names can be successful as they’re distinctive. They are also easy to trademark.
CONS: It takes considerably more advertising resources to get the name at the top of consumers’ minds.

Real words: Existing words repurposed for your name. These names work in a metaphorical sense, and rarely are clearly correlated to the product or service.
Examples: Vouch, Rebound, and Hawk
PROS: A real word name comes with pre-formed associations.
CONS: An appropriate URL will likely be expensive, and trademarking may be tricky.

Tweaked: Names consisting of words slightly changed in spelling and/or pronunciation.
Examples: Slango (slang)
PROS: Distinctive and unique, and generally easier to find a free URL.
CONS: Customers may not recognize the original word, making it meaningless. These names also can come across as too clever for some businesses and customers.

Mashups: Two words, or parts of words, that are combined to make a new name.
Examples: MedSlice, Nanocal Rx, and PixSell Visual
PROS: Often are clever and very appealing.
CONS: May be hard to spell or remember.

Compounds: Two words put together. May be read as one or two words.
Examples: RightWine, GlobalVoice, and NeonHive
PROS: Unique names are easy to create, while overall meanings of both words put together can also be interesting.
CONS: No major drawbacks, but they can sometimes be too long

Misspelled: Made up of words with uncommon spelling to make them more distinctive.
Examples: Nimbl (nimble), Ryde (ride), and BotHyve (hive)
PROS: Likely minimizes the cost of URLs.
CONS: May still run into trouble with trademarks.

What’s Next?

By creating your naming document, you’re simplifying the naming process for yourself and your recruited help in the future. Combining your Statement of Purpose, unique selling points, personas, desired emotions, and name models into one document creates an essential guide that will ensure your final choice of name perfectly encapsulates your company. Awareness of different categories of names will help to guide the process as well.

Now that your naming document is complete, it’s time to move on to Step 5 – brainstorming. Stay tuned for the next article in the 9 Steps to Creating an Awesome Business name series!