Naming Tip #4: Include all important decision makers in the process

By Mark Skoultchi

July 14, 2008

You should involve all key stakeholders from the very start of your naming project. Ask yourself, “Who has veto power?” Then include them on the naming project team. Even if it’s the CEO, do your best to include her/him in as many stages of the naming process as possible.

We’ve heard it time and again: “Oh, don’t worry. The CEO (or CMO, or Board of Directors) doesn’t need to be involved at this stage. They’ll be comfortable with the names we recommend to them after the process is over.” If we had a dime for every time someone regretted uttering those words…

In some ways, it’s a plain and simple psychology game. You want to make sure that people who have a final say know that their opinions and preferences were addressed during the entire naming process. There’s nothing worse than getting to the very end of the naming process only to have a top-level manager tell you that’s not the way they want it.

One easy way to head this off is to include these higher-ups from the start. If they don’t have time to be involved in every meeting, consider scheduling a 15-30 minute phone call between them and your naming specialist at the beginning of the process. Then when the exec sees name candidates several weeks later, they’ll know their opinion was considered during the naming exploration. Psychologically, it will help the exec be more receptive to the names and logistically it will help prevent a last minute back-to-the-drawing-board situation.

This is part four in a ten-part CatchThis series. Check back every Monday morning for subsequent naming tips. Check out previous Naming Tips here.

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