Our Name Development Process
Having started developing names for our clients in 2018, we saw that this part of the process was often overwhelming and confusing for our clients, and they were more than happy to hand it over to us! To run you through this process (if you’re considering adding it onto a package with us) this post explains what we do and how, with case study examples from previous clients.
Step 1: Brand strategy
For Brand Identity and Brand Development packages we always begin with brand strategy. Without knowing your business and your ideal clients we have nothing to be working with, so we always start by getting to know what your business does + how it does it.
If you’re curious to read more about brand strategy, read this blog post that explains it in more detail.
Digging into brand strategy allows us to get a lot of information up front about your brand values, messaging and clients. We send 4 questionnaires to our clients to answer and use the information in those to create a brand strategy document.
Step 2: Strategy meeting
With the brand strategy completed we meet in person to review everything and ensure it’s correct. Getting the language for your brand right at the beginning is vital, so we meet in-person or over video chat to discuss the finer details of your business and get to know each other. In this meeting we talk about possible name concepts and where we might take the name of the business.
Step 3: Research + brainstorming
Now we’re into research and brainstorming! With some concepts in mind we head to the internet to start brainstorming ideas. When looking for potential name ideas we consider whether the name needs to have any symbolism linked to it, or whether we’ll be using more self explanatory words or themes.
If we’re going down a route that requires more symbolism we’ll usually start by looking at names that have meaning. We’ll also look to mythology and historic stories for inspiration. Animals and plants are often tied to meaning and symbolism too, so sometimes we’ll look into that as well.
For names that don’t need that level of symbolism we’ll look at English words and how we can use a words existing meaning or maybe take a spin on it by changing the spelling or combining words to create a new one.
Once we’ve narrowed our options down we’ll then double check their availability. We look for the following:
Are there any businesses in the same industry + geographic area with the same name
Are there suitable domains and social media handles available
Are there any businesses registered with that, or a similar name with the local government
With availability confirmed, we prep our final 3 suggestions to present to our client!
Step 4: Presentation
The fun part is presenting the names! Here we get to really dig into why we’ve chosen a name and we’re often looking at more than just the concept and symbolism too. When choosing words for business names we consider the following factors:
How does a name sounds when said out loud?
Does it need a tagline or supporting word?
Are the sounds of the word suitable for the business type and personality? (i.e does the name have hard sounds or soft sounds)
Is there any alliteration or fun twist possible?
What tagline or descriptive words would work for the business (most businesses need to have a descriptive element when registering with the government.
Name options are presented with these factors explained as you can see in the example below from our client Meira Consulting:
Step 5: Refinements
After a client has reviewed our top suggestions we can continue to refine the names or present 1 more round of options. Sometimes having more to compare helps and sometimes clients just need time to review the options and test them out! Either way, we’re here to make sure that you feel 100% about your name and are happy to refine it further should it need that!
Examples of businesses we’ve named:
Salt Design Co.
We named our design studio after pink himalayan salt initially just because we liked the sound of the word “salt”. It’s short, to the point, and ends crisply. Beyond that though, we love the colour of pink himalayan salt and the fact that salt brings flavour out in cooking. We like to think that we can add some flavour to your brand so it was a great fit ;)
Design Build Grow
Our educational platform was named after the core pillars of content that we have on offer. Everything falls into the categories of design, build or grow and that’s exactly what we want you to do when learning with us. Creating a simple + more obviously named business was important to us as we wanted the name to allude to learning. Legally we did register this name as ‘Design Build Grow, Online Education’ to ensure that it had literal descriptors of the business and what it does.
Meira, the example from above offers business consultations. As a guiding light for her clients, we chose a name that literally means ‘light’ in Hebrew, using the concept in the brand identity also with rays of light that project out from the M showing the way.
Adya Digital Consulting & Education
Another consulting company, Adya offers digital media support and education. The name Adya is a given name in India. It means the Goddess of Power (Adya - Shakti). It also means "First" in Sanskrit. As our client is of Indian decent this seemed fitting, and the name alludes to the power that Adya will be giving to their clients through their services and education.
Bringing in fresh, optimistic vibes into the Renew name was important, and while conceptual names were of interest to our client in this project we didn’t want to use a non-English word. Renew means to restart and move forward, and the retreats offered by Renew give women a way to explore a new style of hiking as well as giving them the tools they need to be confident exploring the outdoors.
Got any questions about our name development process? Feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email! You can email Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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