Catchword’s Naming Manual – Part 4 of 10

By Laurel Sutton

October 31, 2008

Here’s another excerpt from our handy dandy naming manual – it’s like a car manual, only about naming! We’ll be posting 10 different sections on a weekly basis, so please come back every Friday for more. If you like what you see, please download a copy of your very own, or write to us and we’ll mail you a paper copy (it has a glossy cover!).


Step 5 – Distilling names
Your Name Exhaust System is responsible for expelling new name ideas that fail to meet all the criteria for a desirable new name. The System works by evaluating new name ideas for appropriateness and fit, ease of pronunciation and spelling, uniqueness, depth, identity design potential, and, if applicable, linguistic and cultural viability. If your exhaust system expels more than 90% of your names you should consider reactivating your Creative Fuel Injection System and developing more names.

NAMING TIP
Use style to convey substance. If you want to be seen as friendly and casual, don’t use a four-syllable Latin word. If you want to position yourselves as pioneers, try a tone or naming construction that’s unusual – better yet unheard of – in your industry. Do you think that ComputerPlanet would have made the splash that Apple did?

CAUTION/WARNING
Don’t decide by committee. Limit the number of stakeholders involved in name selection, and be willing to let the most marketing-savvy participants drive the decision. When you insist on total agreement from everyone, what usually
survives is the lowest common denominator. Sure, it doesn’t offend anybody – but will it actually engage people?

CAUTION/WARNING
Choose names that are relevant to your target audience, not just names that you like or that have meaning to you alone.

Step 6 – Screening names
You’re almost there! Now, you need to ensure that no one else has created the same brand name for their vehicle. To do so, activate your Theft Prevention System (TPS). It is extremely important that your TPS is operating properly. A malfunctioning TPS can cause an unexpected and even fatal name crash.

To activate your TPS:
Submit your preferred names to a qualified Intellectual Property attorney and have them perform a “preliminary screen” on all your preferred candidates. It’s important that you work with an Intellectual Property attorney (as opposed to a corporate, contract or other attorney), as trademark law is a specialized area of law requiring specific legal knowledge and experience with Intellectual Property.


Last week: Create Your New Name
Next week: Installing Names

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