One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to name their startup, product, or just about anything else, is using what we lovingly call the “spray and pray” methods.
Founders, product developers, marketing professionals, or anyone else tasked with coming up with a great name write down everything they know about their project and hope that they will be graced with an awesome name–something that jumps out and feels perfect.
We have found that the naming process is less like a romance novel and more like detective fiction…systematic and somewhat cerebral (although there are definitely epiphanies along the way). Here is a framework that we recommend again and again to help struggling namers focus their efforts and find a great name.
The Squadhelp Naming Pyramid is a succinct representation of all aspects of your company, from the logistical details that help your company function day-to-day to your positioning for success in a competitive marketplace. When getting your startup off the ground or rebranding your current company, this framework provides a useful guide.
Level 1: Business Strategy
At the base of the Naming Pyramid is your business strategy. This bottom level includes the broadest scope of your company: operations, marketing, finances, legal, HR, and any other factors that go into making your business function successfully. Each further level distills your business into something that is understandable and accessible to someone looking in from the outside–your prospective customers and other stakeholders.
Level 2: Brand
Your brand is how you present yourself to the world–and it includes your story, mission, vision, voice, fonts, colors, and various other elements. Your brand will be represented through many platforms, across hundreds, likely thousands, of touchpoints with multiple stakeholder groups.
Level 3: Positioning
On the third level of the Pyramid lies your positioning. This level addresses how you are going to enter the market successfully and capture attention and customers. Your positioning is a succinct representation of who you are and what your brand is all about.
What two or three ideas will you use to capture attention, break into a crowded market, or develop a new market (a blue ocean)?
Level 4: Name
Your business is distilled into your brand, your brand into your positioning–and at the top of the pyramid is your name, a single word or phrase that captures your positioning. Apple, PayPal, Twitter, and Uber are all examples of position-driven names.
Voila…The Perfect Name
When creating your name, the Squadhelp Naming Pyramid will help you focus your efforts, and brainstorm names that are on point. Once you have a bull’s eye for your name development project, you can then return to the creative brainstorming process. There are numberless ways to capture your positioning from mashups to foreign languages to mythological references and anything in between. The Naming Pyramid allows you to direct your creative energy and find a meaningful name.