Incorporating Executive and Extended Teams into the Naming Process

After being in the name development business for a few years, let alone the nearly three decades that I have, it becomes very apparent that foreseeing opportunities for building consensus on naming directions is of tremendous importance. This is particularly significant when consideration for that consensus has to be crafted bearing in mind the opinions of senior and/or executive leadership that may or may not be directly involved with the naming project.

I often relay stories to client project teams that are used to impress upon them the need to expose multiple internal audiences –including first and foremost executive teams—throughout the process. To assure the ultimate success of a naming initiative, a final recommendation must be more than an inclusion of the summary of the process, rationale of the given name, proof that diligence had been conducted on safety testing, trademark and domain screening, external and internal audience research validation, linguistics analysis, etc. It also must demonstrate a sequencing of senior leadership input solicitation. We recommend these interactions are in person, take no longer than 20-30 minutes, and utilize a very small number of slides. Get to the point, show where the process is, and display the brief list of names under consideration. Then wait and record any feedback, answer any questions, and continue forward.

Brandsymbol certainly recognizes that some senior executives are more vocal and want to have their opinion heard about name selections than others. We work with our clients to build into the project timeline opportunities for these interactions while recognizing the challenge of minimal calendar opportunities. Avoiding an unwelcome surprise in the form of questioning the naming strategy and potential name candidates late in the project is worth the effort and should be part of a coordinated effort with a naming agency partnership. Assure the meetings are summarized succinctly to quickly present the thorough process, including why others like a given name without overselling, while also recognizing the fact that it ultimately will be spoken countless times by the executives for the breakthrough success it represents.