What Is Your Company Naming Strategy?

In Building a Brand by Distility2559 Comments

Brand Naming – The Search Begins

Clients come to Distility when their brand name is no longer working for them. It may no longer fit what they do. It may not allow them to expand into new markets. They may be under siege because they did not do their legal due diligence in their home market.

They know they need a new name, but, not being versed in the art of naming, may not know much more than that. They are akin to someone who knows little about cars, having to buy one. Do they need a new car or used? Do they need a two-seater or a seven-seater? Do they need standard or automatic? Do they want economy or luxury? The answers to these questions can net a car that costs $5,000 to one that costs $500,000. It is the same with naming. Without a clear sense of exactly what they need in a name, companies can end up with a clunker or a high-priced, high-maintenance name.

Start with a Company Naming Strategy

In order to get the best name to build your brand, while also keeping your naming project on-time and on-budget, we recommend that you:

  1. Identify your current brand architecture (Freestanding, Masterbrand, Sub-brand, Endorser);
  2. Decide whether you will stay with current brand architecture or change it;
  3. Define your brand strategy: brand promise, position and personality for inspiring naming themes and ensuring “on-brand” results;
  4. Determine type of name(s) required (Descriptive, Semi-descriptive, Suggestive, Arbitrary, Invented);
  5. Determine Top Level Domain requirements (ex. “.com”);
  6. Consider whether defensive domain registrations will be required to minimize phishing and fraud;
  7. Determine parameters of Top Level Domain budget (expect $10,000 to $100,000+ depending on quality);
  8. Identify languages and cultures where name must be tested for negative connotations;
  9. Identify geographic regions where trademarking of name is required;
  10. Consider how to transition from old name to new name.

Once you have considered the above, the answers can be distilled into your proposed naming strategy. You can use your proposed naming strategy to get clarity from an agency, like Distility, on the budget you will need for renaming. With the initial budget in-hand, you may decide to revisit your proposed naming requirements and determine what is essential and what isn’t. With your naming strategy in hand and your naming budget (and likely an updated budget) in hand, you will be in a position to (i) plan a successful re-naming project and (ii) ensure you and your team agree on the key naming requirements.