Make Business Name Evaluation Impartial

Don’t let name evaluation become a personal thing.

This is especially critical if you are wearing two hats – the name creator and the name evaluator.

Evaluating name candidates for educational publisher

Evaluating name candidates for educational publisher

What happens is that one or two of the names you’ve conceived are REALLY creative. You get an “aha” moment when you’re struck by an inspired thought. Every naming creator has those moments and those great, unique name possibilities.

There’s a good chance that part of its appeal is that it’s relevant and fits your vision and value standards. That is, it’s both appropriate and powerful. That’s why the “aha”.

But almost as often the candidate is a great combination of word parts that flow together, but are off target for the business or product you’re naming. It’s just that you can’t see it.

That’s why evaluation should not be left to the creator.

A second, uninvolved person should be consulted – a person steeped in the branding process as well as familiar with your business plan and brand platform. This is probably not your spouse.

My suggestion is to cut your initial list to twenty or so candidates. Then seek a consultant, or perhaps a copywriter with branding experience, to review your brand platform (Which should, incidentally, include the criteria you initially set up for your new name.), your business plan and your name short-list. Don’t tell him/her about your favorites.

Then let your consultant pick the best ten candidates and rank them in order of preference. Also ask him/her to write an evaluation of each. You are now ready to check out those candidates for availability.

If your favorite isn’t among the chosen, you can certainly ask why, but rely on your evaluator’s choices. Don’t let your ego govern you new business name

It is also possible to conduct an on-line survey of the top four name candidates if you can identify – or the survey source can identify – a large enough sample of persons meeting your target market profile. I’ll cover name evaluation surveys in a future post.

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