The perfect name – how to choose an effective one?

With or without dot? Two-word, short, catchy, unique… What should be the ideal name for your product or service? This question has been a difficult one for all idea creators when a concept for a business or product needs to have a name. A name for a child seems to be an easy task when compared to the entire process of naming a product or service. But this will not be so hard with support of technology!

When working on product development for our customers, sometimes we take part in the process of creating the name. It is always a great opportunity for us to be creative and work with our imagination. The name is not just a word but there is an entire story hidden behind it.

Several words about the process

Before we talk about methods… It is worth taking a holistic approach to the entire process of naming that requires creativeness at each stage of work. To ensure a high level of innovativeness, it is worth to divide the process into iterations, where you will use various methods of generating names (examples below). This is important from the point of view of coming up with the biggest number of names possible, which will correspond to your assumptions, but will not be cliché.

An engaged and creative team is the key here but we are all capable of thinking according to certain schemes, especially if the process is long and monotonous. The best idea is that a team with changing members works at each stage of creating a new name. All you need is one new person, who will bring a new energy level and activate creativeness of the entire team.

How to choose the best names? After all, tens or even hundreds of names are created in each iteration. It is important to choose the top 10 names and segment them, when finalising an iteration. Such a collection of names may be presented to the customer to obtain feedback after each session and to know where to direct your thought process. The customer, being the product or service creator, knows which names correspond to them best. Customer feedback should always be taken into account during the next iteration phase. The entire process usually ends with a choice of three names and creating claims (advertisement slogans) to them.

From our own yard

We have recently came up with a name for a new e-commerce product, which is simple and intuitive in use, while being advanced and professional. How did we find the right name? We suggest 3 methods that we will use in the process of naming for a customer.

STAGE 1 – why, how, what?

The first stage of works was related with analysis of keywords available in all materials associated with the product, e.g. brief, offer, research results, analyses of recipient groups or competition. From the texts prepared earlier, we chose keywords to then filter them into three segments, according Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle rule. This method enables quick and easy determination of what should be done, why and how.

Why does the product exist and what mission does it fulfil?

How does it resolve user problems?

What is it?

Due to the above, we could start the process of generating keywords that are associated with the product. Then, we could create names with their use, combinations, etc.

TIP: When creating names, it is worth using universal suffixes that will add a sense of lightness to the name, while making it possible to avoid problems relating to unavailability of a domain. Such suffixes include: -ly, -ive, -er, -up, -on, -ty, -fy.

Finally, choose the top 5-10 names. The easiest way to do that is by voting with participation of people who were not members of the team working on the name. It is also worth checking availability of the name and domain.

STAGE 2 – storytelling

To supplement the gathered names, it is worth using your imagination in terms of developing a story. Why? This is important from the point of view of names that are not just a combination of words but are also associated with archetypes or refer to culture. A good story is the core of building brand communication, where the name is its business card.

At this stage of work, you will look far across horizons with your imagination, creating stories where products or people developing products are the main characters. Names associated with stories are a result of the above.

STAGE 3 – AI support

What should be done when no good ideas come to your mind and each new one turns to be already taken? Such a situation may be frustrating to many people. This is where artificial intelligence comes in handy.

Work that was performed earlier turns out to be a great base – it can support a tool for creating names. It works on the basis of keywords – you can enter words of your interest and adjust parameters so that the generated suggestions match certain requirements. This is where the magic happens. The tool creates hundreds of suggestions based on the data you entered, supported by its own algorithms.

It is probable that the generated names are already taken but this is just a small detail, which can be checked in a search engine. You will see a big choice of suggestions and on this basis, you can create new ones until finding the best-matching and unique one.

Remember to check the name in terms of availability of domain as well as in the patent office and its meaning in different languages.

Human and technology – a great duo

At this point you can present the best proposals to the customer, which were created on the basis of the human and technological factor, along with factors that are required to create a unique name and story. The last stage is here – the final decision.

Coming up with a unique name is a very difficult task. New products are created very fast and each company would like to name them in a one-of-a-kind way so that it will be remembered by users and will be the perfect representation of the product or service offered. Technology is an integral part of our lives so why not use it to support your creativity and imagination, and to create even more exceptional products and services?

Sounds interesting?

Would you like to organise such a workshop or your company or just to talk about your process?

Let's talk
Katarzyna Golonka
Katarzyna Golonka
Lean Marketing Manager & Strategist at Project: People
Paweł Nawara
Paweł Nawara
Lean UX & UI Designer at Project: People

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