Nine Steps to Great Naming: Part II

In my previous post, I showed you how to conduct a thorough naming exercise. Now I’ll show you how to separate the wheat from the chaff with the end goal of finding your own Snausages, DieHard, or Mac for your product or service. Get ready for part two of my nine steps to coming up with a great name for your product or service.

Step 5: Be brutal.
Scrutinize each and every name. Start by asking yourself if it meets the objectives you started with. A name needs a “reason for being.” If it veers into la-la land, kill it.

Step 6: Check for functionality. 
Listen to how the name sounds. Consider how it might look on paper, as a URL, spelled out in an 800 number, or as a logo. If it’s confusing or has objectionable connotations, give it the axe.

Step 7: Do a perfunctory search.
See if the name’s being used and how. Start with a simple Google search. Do a trademark search with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Lastly, check someplace like Go Daddy to see what URLs are available.

Step 8: Edit and re-edit. 
Make your goal a solid shortlist of 5-10 names. If you’re having trouble letting go, try putting the names on index cards and ordering them from most to least favorite. You’ll be surprised by how this can help you move things along.

Step 9: Cover your butt.
Lastly, hand your whole shortlist over to your trademark attorney. That way, no matter what your lawyer eliminates, you’ll still have strong back-ups.

Hope these steps help you come up with a great name . Please let me know how it goes. And remember if you need assistance along the way – I’m here to help.