Name Evaluation: Determine Naming Criteria Up Front

As part of the name development process, I suggested creating a naming brief prior to creating any name candidates, and that part of the brief be a set of name evaluation criteria.

Criteria for naming companies and productsSo how do you select the criteria with which to evaluate your name candidates?

First, there are two types of naming criteria you will want to incorporate. The first has to do with general naming “best practices”. The second set are company-related, having to do with goals you have asked your new name to fulfill.

Another aspect of setting name evaluation criteria is to assign priorities to evaluation factors. The best way to do this is to establish a rating scale: a 1-to-5 scale with “good to have” being “1” and “absolutely vital” being “5”.

Set up your name evaluation criteria and their ratings prior to creating name candidates. Otherwise, some of the created candidates might influence your selection of criteria and their ratings.

Here are some suggested criteria. Keep in mind that you will have to select and rate criteria, and that there may be others you will want to add for your particular project.

Best Practices Naming Criteria.

These are the more generic criteria, the ones that can apply to naming any company, product or service.

Unique – not like any competitor’s name
Short – no more than five syllables
Memorable – has a ”rhythm” to it
Appropriate –sets the right “tone”
Suggests a benefit or a pleasant association
Easy to pronounce and pleasing to the ear
Not restrictive – doesn’t limit your growth potential

Company-related Naming Criteria.

These are specifically goal-based elements that address your entity’s situation and goals. You can certainly add additional factors – the ones below are idea starters for the most part.

Aligns with mission and vision statements
Conveys something of the brand story
Imparts the desired characteristics of the brand
Reflects the brand’s desired personality
Resonates with priority stakeholders
Aligns with other company brands
Fulfills other specific attributes assigned to the name

A final note: I would limit the number of name evaluation elements to 12 at most. Otherwise, the job becomes too complex, and no name will emerge as a leader. And remember to prioritize the critical factors.

Provide these criteria to those who will be creating name candidates as part of the naming brief I discussed in yesterday’s post.

The result will be focused, appropriate and relevant name candidates, and plenty of them.

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