Like Winning the Lottery

Naming or renaming a product, service or company before you rebrand or launch a new venture can be one of the hardest tasks to accomplish successfully. According to a survey by Wakefield Research, 46% of small-business owners believe they're more likely to find a $100 bill on the sidewalk than to find a great .com domain that hasn't already been taken.

A small company might question whether it ought to take the time, effort and money to develop a unique and interesting name when 60% of the top-ten branding and identity firms in the world have taken the path of least resistance.* Your name is the conception of your brand. In order to start the naming process, you first must get in touch with the why of your company, understand the brand backstory and know your audience. There are three main things a name needs to do: personify the emotional benefit your client receives, be congruent with who you are and why you are on the planet, and separate your company from all the other competitors.

“The Other Place” to “Homefull”

One of my personal favorites is a story from Tina Patterson, the president of the non-profit called Homefull. We had the opportunity to rename them from The Other Place to Homefull. Their mission is to end homelessness. Homefull transitions the homeless to homes in less than 60 days. It's quite remarkable. Tina called me after her first meeting where she had the opportunity to use the new name and brand. She was offered $250,000 in support from a large local DIY retailer in less than 5 minutes. She called me and said, "I didn't even have a chance to sell." She said she would typically spend 15 to 20 minutes talking about who they were and what they did. She said, "They looked at my business card. Looked at my donation sheet, and they just got it. It was that simple."

First Impressions...

A good name sells. It tells your story and evokes a response. It is the very foundation of your brand. Take the time effort and investment to build it right from the ground up. Start with a great name.

* World’s Top Ten Identity Firms, Identity Forum, Andrew Pourtov, July 25, 2009 1. Chermayeff & Geismar, 2. Landor Associates, 3. Cato Purnell Partners, 4. Wolff Olins, 5. Pentagram, 6. Chase Design, 7. Total Identity, 8. MetaDesign  9. QWER, 10. Siegel+Gale.Chapter 7: