Everything. Well, okay. I exaggerate a bit.
We’ve done quite a few naming projects here at PERSONIFY, and it’s some of the most difficult yet rewarding work we do. It’s art, it’s creative, it’s a word – but not all words are created equal. Sometimes we come up with THE name after just one brainstorming session and other times it’s taken months.
Why can’t that process become more consistent and easy? I’m not sure the exact answer, but here’s some challenges we’ve boiled it down to:
If you have kids, you know naming a child is one of the most difficult and drawn out process ever – that and writing your own biography ;). Names are personal, they last forever, and they make everything real. It’s a first impression. It’s the word that sums up something big. It’s letters that make up something important, something tangible. Words have meaning, but names have power. We believe that the name has to be golden.
It stands for something.
What does it mean? Is there an acronym? Is it someones name? Is it a location? Does it represent a bigger idea? Does it evoke an emotion? Maybe it’s just plain cool. There are lots of names out there that don’t mean a darn thing – some of them are good, too. However, here at PERSONIFY, we like to back our names up with some meaning. We believe stories are more memorable, so an authentic name will ultimately lead to a more successful brand.
It’s easy to spell, remember, + pronounce.
If you spend enough on marketing (ie. Collateral, campaigns, advertisements, socail media, etc.), I don’t care how you spell or pronounce your name. People will figure it out. However, if you are a small to medium sized business targeting a niche market, you’d better be clear. I’m all for creative liberties – I take them every day. But if you tell someone your name and they say “what?” – its no good. Making it memorable can be done with brand extension. So, name well, but build a story to give the name recognition.
It’s a verb and/or a noun.
These are my personal favorite. When the name, or part of it, can be used as a verb, you have a winner. It makes for fun content and hashtags – #obviously. Not only will people say the name of your business or product, they will personify it. Now that’s good.
It’s available as a “.com”.
Finding the “.com” is becoming increasingly more challenging. Unless you are an alternative url such as “.edu” or “.org,” “.com’s” are pretty much impossible to find. Often, we think up with some great names, but face reality when we check it out on register.com and realize others have too – “Shit. Now what?” While sometimes we go back to the drawing board, other times this new challenge forces us to be even more creative. Bring it on .com world – we can think beyond algorithms and code.