Before a naming agency can begin name development, they must have a thorough understanding of the project and all the elements that impact its success in the marketplace. Whether communicated through client-provided materials or during the project kickoff meeting, the following information should be shared with your agency:
- Product Overview/Product Profile
- Corporate Brand Architecture Considerations: where will this product live within the existing product portfolio, are you a House of Brands, Branded House, or Hybrid?
- Value Proposition: what makes this product appealing to the target audience?
- Competitive Landscape: how many competitors are there, and how are they communicating to the target audience?
- Historic Naming Strategies: what has the overall industry traditionally done, and what about the specific areas (i.e., therapeutic area, hand-held electronics)?
- Target Audience: who is the primary and secondary audience and what are their personas?
- Trademark Considerations: what are the specific Trademark Classes, Regions, Goods/Services description that this product will be registered in?
These insights will serve as the foundation for naming strategy and creative direction.
An experienced naming agency will take the opportunity to expand the project kickoff meeting into an interactive and comprehensive client workshop. The purpose of a workshop is to bring together the broader client team, including those involved with the project at different touchpoints (i.e., executive decision-makers, internal stakeholders, Brand management, research and development, sales) in order to garner insight for the development of a legally viable and strategically targeted name candidate for your new innovation.
In an effective workshop, client engagement does not stop at discussion surrounding the product itself. Incorporating interactive team ideation can add tremendous value to the naming process. Allowing the broader client team to participate in name generation further invests them in the process and the final solution, while generating creative pathways that can be explored during name development. Team ideation is a dynamic and fun way to build consensus around naming direction and inform and excite the team about process – and who knows – on a rare occasion a client participant may create the final Brand name during the workshop.
Immersing clients in the naming process from the beginning, ensures alignment and creates advocates for final name selection. When the top three-to-five name candidates are revealed to a larger internal audience and/or executive-level decision makers, the workshop participants can further support and “sell” the final name selection(s) to gain internal buy-in.
Engaging a broad client team at the beginning of a naming project accomplishes the following goals: 1) team consensus on creative direction; 2) provides the naming agency with targeted creative pathways/concepts to explore during name generation; 3) allows everyone with a vested interest to be included in the process; 4) promotes stewards of the final name from the beginning; and 5) eliminates surprises when final name candidates are presented.