Or become yourself a Demiurge.
What’s in a name, though? A whole world trapped in a tiny group of letters that has to be relevant, powerful, distinctive, memorably-outstanding, creatively –intriguing and last but not least protect-able (IP wise) in such a noisy and taken rhetoric of the post creationist world.
There is a single huge intellectual challenge in naming: how to compose with your mind a little piece of reality that speaks directly to people’s gut? Or heart?
If you, as an entrepreneur search for the best name for your business, you have to take into account a few common sense principles. Or search for a good naming strategist.
Who happens to apply the same principles, by the way.
1. Emotional enticement, not linguistic smartness. A good name has to have a certain resonance that goes beyond a fortunate combination of letters. There is no recipe for appealing effectively to the subconscious, still this is what a good name should do: exercise a bizarre stickiness to the hearing or sight. Once perceived, it should remain there like a personal positive memory that cannot be grasped by the reasoning.
2. A core promise encapsulated in the very essence. A name should speak ultimately about a brand fundamental promise. A name IS a promise of value. And this is why naming should follow a clear brand with a well-defined essence. A name does not precede a branding process; it is part of it instead. Ideally, naming is a consequence of a clear brief issued after a decided positioning.
3. Relevance for the industry against freestyle fantasy. Although its alchemy is very intricate, a good name should send a spear of meaning towards the field of activity, the industry in which the business exists. It should be anchored and recognizable. The least touch of pragmatism is always preferable to aerial poetry in business.
4. Drama inside, rhyme, alliteration and letters music always help. There are no rigors at all as there are countless exceptions for any rule you are trying to make in this domain. Still, good names seem to perform on a stage and feel uninhibited.
5. Pure business description is better left to a descriptor. Although it is a temptation to start a naming process from a puzzle of disparate pieces or concepts that you have to recombine, maybe a descriptor (immediately linked to the name, even part of the visual identity) is a better solution. Safer, in any case.
Reality check: domain and IP availability are the cold shower for any naming strategist. The real maturity and expertise of a “name-er” is when she generates a restrained list of names with highest potential for protection rather than a long list that dies a little with every new search. Nothing is new and unregistered on Earth and there seem to be no business ideas left that haven’t already sprung in somebody else’s mind. But the beauty of it is that there are still some gems out there…
Out of all stages of a branding project, I personally find naming the most rewarding. There is an endless playground out there with some pale and unconvincing rules and restrictions here and there, but the rest is pure enjoyment.
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