It’s not easy to find a name for your business and most of the time selecting the final one from all the options available can be a stressful process. Of course asking our friends and family members for help will make this a little bit easier but it’s not always the best method.
There are many online services which can help us to find a name and build a basic identity around it for $50 to $300 but doing it without any external help using the “Naming Brief” method could save us some time and money.
So what is a Naming Brief?
The Naming Brief is a common method used to find a business name or to create a shortlist of multiple alternatives for it. This structure or variations of it are being used by most of the branding and design agencies all over the world because it has many advantages such as being easy to build and very customizable. Another great advantage of it is that it uses most of the existing information from any general initial business plan.
How to create and use it?
Before starting to build the actual brief a great tip is to take a step back and write it in the third person which will allow you to look objectively or even skeptically all of the alternatives.
After successfully doing this exercise you can start writing the brief by following the next steps.
1. Background Information
In this first section you should start by writing some short sentences to describe your business: where it is located, when it was founded, what history does it have, what it does and which is the main value of it.
For the value section, try to write a single specific word without getting too much into the brand’s personality.
Note: If you are doing a rebranding you should also include some information about the naming history, like the original name of the business.
2. Brand’s Personality
Here, in the second section, you should focus on finding as many adjectives as possible to describe how the brand feels and acts in the relationship with the customers.
If your business is not launched yet this should be based on the main client strategies from your initial business plan.
3. Naming Criteria
This third section of the brief is dedicated to the naming requirements. Here you should specify all the conceptual and linguistic wishes for the final name.
You should try to focus on the structure of the name and write any specific terms, words or numbers you’d like to integrate in the name. This should be strongly related to the previous section where you identified and mentioned the main values of your brand.
The customization of this section also depends on the niche and industry of your business.
Note: For the creative fields and modern service-related industries you should consider Latin as a source language.
4. Results and Further Research
This final section will be dedicated to shortlisting and results based on the previous sections.
After having a list of options for the business name you should spend a little bit more time for some further research which will shortlist your options.
For each of the names you should check:
- Domain Availability
You should check the availability of your future website and there are many free resources to check it online, such as this one.
- Social Media Availability
Building your presence on social media is a crucial step for your business and having all your digital channels linked together is very important. Again there are many free resources to check the availability for most of the platforms, such as this one.
- Hidden Meaning
Running a simple Google Images search should help you discover any hidden or potentially offensive meanings.
Again, the Google search will help you discover if there are any large brands already using your name which in some cases can lead to copyright issues.
This represents the basic structure for the Naming Brief and it can be modified and customized by adding or removing any sections based on the additional requirements and the complexity of the naming project.
In some other cases such as basic products or services for a low competition market the brief can be compressed to one or two stages.