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When creating a successful brand name, having the correct brief in place is essential. Without one you will end up throwing any ideas out there without giving any initial thought to what the brand is - making a recipe for disaster.


Writing a quality brief to start with not only directs any naming conversations, but helps focus the group on what the name should convey, what kind of names to consider and what is a definite no-no.


Whilst we have a certain method to creating these briefs which include some initial strategy sessions, there are a few pieces of basic information that are ALWAYS in there.


The what:

You want to start with a short description of what it is your company does. You will want a few bullet points of more technical and basic information, don’t get fancy with this section. So for me it would be - ‘I create brand strategies and build custom designed websites’


It need to be as simple as that.


Positioning:

With your name being a very important part of your overall branding strategy, it’s what people will remember and tell each other to look up, so it needs to represent who you are.


In this section I like to use sliders to show where the brand is positioned. This helps everyone visualise how authorative or fun you want the name to be. Ultimately, it is going to be a long-lasting part of the company and needs to imbue these values.


Naming criteria:

This section lays out what type of name you are looking for. Where positioning is values and the more emotive side, the criteria is the cold-hard factual side.


We go through this in a lot more detail in our naming video, but the basic idea is to right down how the name is going to be constructed. Is it a product description like ‘computer co’ or more abstract like ‘apple’. You can go into a lot of detail in this section around how you want the name.


You can also start to look at what you DON’T want. So maybe you don’t want any numbers in there, maybe you only want true latin words and not mixed bags. These negative criterias are just as important in narrowing the field down as the positives.


Tonality:

A very short section and in a similar vain to the positioning. You are looking to tell everyone how the name should sound, so should it be bright and fun like ‘popo’ or more authorative like ‘javelin’. Each will be trying to represent certain aspects and core values of your brand so you need to say each name and see how it sounds.


Target audience:

It is always good to have an idea of your target audience in mind when creating your brand name. This helps you to visualise who is going to be reading this name and how they are going to react to it. If your targeting creative people you can start to play around with some weird names, if it’s a high-class B2B company, you might want to keep it simple and to the point.


Another consideration to take when looking at your target audience is where they live and work. You might want to culture check your names to see that they won’t be misinterpreted or said incorrectly.


Competitor names:

Always do your research on your competitors and create a list of their names. It’s often interesting seeing all of your competitor names in one list and might open up opportunities to differentiate yourselves from the market in this way.


As you progress through the brief and naming process it is also a good idea to keep a list of rejected names on your briefing document. If there are a lot of rejected names, it might help clarify where you are going wrong - maybe they all seem like different ideas at the time, but when listed together they might all look very similar.


Now you’ve got your brief together, it’s time to thrash out some names and get working. A great way to choose a name is by using the ‘lighting round’ meeting. It will help you decide in no time!


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