Naming Tip #8: Always keep a handful of strong name candidates under consideration


Everyone loves an epiphany. Unfortunately, expecting an epiphany from a naming process is usually a bad idea. It’s common to want to fall in love with a single name candidate that communicates all of your desired messages, that is legally available, and that has an available dot-com. But expecting this to happen on your first viewing of any name can lead to heartache and disappointment. Murphy’s Law of Naming says that if you fall in love with a name before the lawyers have given their nod of approval, that name will be unavailable to you.

The solution is simple: Keep several promising names under consideration. Once your lawyers give you the green light, and the dot-com issues have been settled, then you can pick your final name candidate. Choosing before you know all the facts can be dangerous.

The problem with falling in love with one name, or even with ranking a few names in order of preference, is a psychological one as much as it is logistical. If, for some reason, you’ve ranked your names and your lawyers rule out the top “favorite,” you may be left with a name that you consider to be “second best.” Naming specialists see the fall-out from this misguided strategy all the time. In order to distinguish between a first, second, and third ranking, clients often find (or create) unjustified or unfair concerns with names. Then, if the second name gets the nod, it just doesn’t seem as good anymore.

The rule of thumb is to always keep a group of names under consideration and on a level playing field, until after the lawyers have given their nod of approval. Once you have the all-mighty legal blessing, then, and only then, can you pick your favorite final name candidate!

This is part eight 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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