This is an update, dear reader, of the project mentioned a couple articles ago. If you'll get in the wayback machine with me, you may recall that naming, taglines and positioning are the early part of the project. There are many things one can learn from this process, but the most consistent thing to remember is to try to leave naming to someone else. Anyone else. Names are a persnickity operation. First, many of them are taken. Second, it's a process of making a lot of lists. A lot of them. Seriously.
A Personal Question
But the biggest issue is the supposed stakes of the name. For your client it's like naming their kid, but without being able to fall back on an old stand-by like John, or Jane. What this means is that it's personal, and as we all know, when things are personal they are important. And while you know in your mind that their company is more than just a name, you will have no luck making that matter to anyone.
So what have I leaned to do in this situation. Well the biggest thing is to check your ego at the door. You have to understand that your client has a personal, vested interest in this, and sometimes that means they will really like something that you're only lukewarm (or maybe brutally frigid) about. As long as there's a modicum of thought in the name you can make it work. After all, you just got done saying the name isn't the company. Well it's not the entire communications package either.
Practicing What You Preach
Here's the point. The name is not the brand. The name is not the communications. The name is not the company. Don't believe me? What does the word Amazon have to do with selling books online. In what way does the word iPod represent even metaphorically what an iPod actually is or does? Nothing. Not one iota. They are what they are because of a story, and really that's the important part. The name just he beginning of the story. The name is just Snoopy sitting on top of his dog house typing out, "It was a dark and stormy night..."