A client recently told me she was exploring several companies to help name a new product coming out soon. All of them estimated between $100,000-150,000 to do so. All of them except Ideasicle. We charge only $25,000 for two rounds of at least 25 names. It’s a more robust process in many ways but cuts out the expensive fluff. Let me explain.

Numbers philosophy.

It’s like this, only it’s a flurry of ideas not snow. (Photo by  Annie Niemaszyk  on  Unsplash )

It’s like this, only it’s a flurry of ideas not snow. (Photo by Annie Niemaszyk on Unsplash)

Naming is one of the more challenging categories of ideas, in general. The reason is that clients tend to put disproportionate pressure on the name, given the stage of development the product or company or feature is in at the time of naming.

Think about it. If the company/product/feature still doesn’t have a name, then it’s probably early enough where there’s no finished marketing plan, no media plan and certainly no advertising developed. So the evaluation of the name becomes artificially pressurized, as if the name has to be the name, the marketing plan, the media plan and the advertising. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just human nature.

Add to this dynamic the fact that if something needs to be named then it’s likely a wildly important “something” to the company. More pressure.

So how does Ideasicle navigate all this naming pressure? Numbers.

Once the creative brief is written and the Ideasicle team of four creative geniuses are briefed and working virtually together as a team, our goal is to present at least 25 ideas, twice. Meaning, we work for a week, present 25 name ideas, get your feedback and come up with 25 more name ideas in response to your feedback.

In the end—only two weeks later, mind you—our clients see over 50 names over the course of two presentations. And these two meetings have an almost therapeutic effect.

The client is intimately involved.

With something as important and intimate as naming, we find it’s important that the client be involved in the process. To the point where we don’t care if one of our ideas inspires an even better idea with our client (it’s happened).

That’s why I can’t possibly over-emphasize the importance of presenting two rounds of name ideas. Here’s why. We can do our best crafting the creative brief, describing the to-be-named subject in great detail, identifying the competitive situation and intended audience. But one thing we can’t get into the brief no matter how hard we try is a client’s subjective likes and dislikes.

It’s a critical ingredient that most agencies ignore.

Our process includes two rounds of ideas so that we can hear the client’s reactions to the first round of 25 ideas, discuss them, rank order them and discard some outright. Understanding what the client does not like—for whatever reason—is as invaluable as knowing what they do like.

Armed now with our original brief AND a good sense of the client’s subjective range we are even more dangerous in round two when we present 25 completely new ideas, all in response to the feedback.

We run all name ideas through the uspto.gov web site to uncover any obvious trademark issues and through a site like GoDaddy.com to identify any url conflicts (if necessary). And the client typically runs a short list of favorites—5 or 6, say—through a proper legal search with their legal teams.

Using this process we have named companies, features and services. For example, we named the work-visa management company, Envoy, the YouTube channel for Warner Music Group, The Warner Sound and even helped a company called Nucleus Scientific decide to keep its name after our exhaustive exploratory convinced them it was their best way forward (validation is still success in our book), among others. And we saved our clients a ton of money in the process.

 
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A no-nonsense, idea-driven approach.

You’ll notice we don’t include a robust primary research phase up front. In most cases, we don’t think it’s necessary. You likely know enough about your product, the market, the audience and the competition to help us get to a great, inspiring creative brief. We think it’s wiser to just get to the ideas more quickly and give you and your teams something tangible to react to. You will not believe how much you will learn about yourselves, your company and whatever it is you’re naming through this process.

As a result, you don’t have to spend $100,000 over four months. Just $25,000 over 2-3 weeks. Call me at 617-304-3268 to start the process on your next naming assignment.


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WILL BURNS IS FOUNDER & CEO OF IDEASICLE, AND A FORBES CONTRIBUTOR.

Email Will or sign up for our monthly Ideasicle Newsletter, and whatever you do don’t go without a flurry of ideas when solving your next marketing problem.

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