DRUG NAMING 101 SERIES: The Importance Of Having A Defined Goal

A comprehensive naming brief or report should always be created after the kick-off of a naming project. This report should include a revised and organized collection of the insights gathered during the first phase of the project and will serve as the strategic roadmap for all future name generation. It is a living document that will be referenced throughout the naming process and will evolve based upon client feedback after each name presentation.

For this reason, it is imperative to have all key decision-makers review and approve this report before any name generation begins. This ensures that the entire team is aligned on the creative direction from the onset of the project and will prevent any last-minute “surprises” or change in scope once the final name candidates have been selected and all key decision-makers are consulted for a final decision.

A thorough report will be strategically focused, capturing the specifics of the individual product, taking into account the “bigger picture” focuses like corporate Brand strategy, naming architecture, product positioning, and regulatory consideration.

A consistent document like this which can both be referenced, updated, and evolved as the project progresses can make sure that these focuses are always kept in mind. The overall naming considerations for the project – things like market insights, competitive landscape, and target audience – if consistently evaluated against, ensure a higher quality creative; while always being aware of and understanding the surrounding regulatory considerations – like therapeutic category, indications, mechanism of action, and others – will go a long way in saving potential conflict down the line when it comes time to submit new names for approval.

The role of this report is to agree upon all of the strategic components of naming such as:

  • creative attributes, types of names, and brand personality to explore;
  • a naming strategy that complies with both corporate and product brand architecture;
  • names that are differentiated from both the competitive set and the current client product portfolio
  • names that do not violate regulatory constraints
  • names that build consensus amongst the client team

That consensus translates into excitement and a sense of ownership over the project for everyone involved, which always leads to a smoother endeavor overall and, most importantly, better names.

As an agency, it is processes like these that allow for a true relationship to be built as it fosters an understanding and trust between agency and client. As the client, it is important that you not only know what kind of work to expect from your agency but that you are also involved in defining that expectation. On the other side, the agency has built not only a functional relationship with you, but a creative one as well, establishing the foundation of a wonderfully collaborative effort.