Skip to content
Eine Strich-Grafik, die ein verworrenes Knäul und daneben einen sauberen Looping zeigt. Darunter steht auf englisch

Untangling the Naming Process

We have developed more than a dozen names for brands. Here you can read what’s important.

A good brand is often the most valuable thing about a company and the brand name plays a crucial role in this.

A client recently confirmed this to us again. We had developed the name and brand design for his consulting company many years ago. The value of the brand and its good name played a major role in the sale of his business consultancy to a larger company.

After more than a dozen namings — usually for corporate brands — we would like to briefly describe here why this only works with a structured process and professional support.

The ideal naming process

Timing

The naming process takes at least 5 to 6 months. This refers to the process from the initial idea to the confirmed registration of the brand name by a trade mark and patent office. If you commission an expensive brand design before you have protected the name, you will be taking a huge financial risk.

Clarification of the strategic goals

What is the brand’s vision? Who should it reach? What does it offer? Our clients are often too close to their product in their minds. An external perspective and the right questions help to develop ideal briefings.

Market research

Who are my competitors in the current market? Which markets do I want to enter in the future? Which brands are already there and with which names? Thorough research reveals gaps and avoids expensive mistakes in brand development or due to rights infringements.

Creation of criteria for evaluating the proposals

Before the first proposals are developed, there must be a catalogue of criteria to help with the assessment. Otherwise you quickly get lost in discussions about taste and sensitivities.

Weißes Logo von der Firma Noventic auf grünem Hintergrund
Finding a name for the Hamburg-based PropTech company noventic.

Ideation

In the creative phase of name development, it helps to pursue very different lines of thought. What does the product do? What would be a desirable state that I could achieve with the brand?

What does the brand sound like? What role would it play in a film? Various creative techniques such as brainstorming, word association and semantic analyses help to stay multi-tracked and find unexpected name suggestions. Various AI tools for inspiration, research and additional suggestions are also useful at this point.

Initial filtering

The first rough list, consisting of several hundred ideas, is reduced using the list of criteria. As a rule, a longlist of around 80–100 proposals remains.

Further filtering

In the next filter stage, proposals with similar content and overly obvious ideas are usually eliminated. We also gather initial feedback from a small network of stakeholders. This often leaves around 25–30 suggestions on the list.

Domain check and trademark law

In addition to an outstanding brand name, a good domain is also important. The filtered name suggestions are checked for their domain suitability. Which domain fits the strategy best and differentiates best? After this check, further suggestions disappear and ideally around 5 top suggestions remain. We have these checked by a trade mark lawyer for legal protectability and trade mark conflicts.

Presentation of the top favourites

We prepare the remaining 5 or so name suggestions for the brand names graphically using mockups and present them to the decision-makers.

Testing the top favourites

Some of our clients either decide directly in favour of a name at this point, or they have the remaining suggestions tested using focus groups, online surveys or A/B tests.

Registration in the trademark patent offices

The selected name is officially registered to ensure legal protection and safeguard the brand.

Conclusion

A structured naming process saves trouble, time, protects against risks and leads to predictable and better results. It increases the value of a brand and helps different stakeholders to make a rational decision that fits the strategy. Brand designs can be rejuvenated again and again - a good name remains and turns an idea into a brand that can grow over the years.

— Author Frank Wache is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at JUNO.