Naming without strategy is like Bert without Ernie
Bert is never without Ernie. Where Bert goes, Ernie goes. They sometimes struggle and it’s not always an easy relationship, but they go hand in hand. It’s the same for strategy and naming. If the strategy is not there, it’s difficult to get naming going. One just doesn’t work without the other.
Creating a name is for the future. We’re not just talking about a couple of months here. Ideally a name lasts for the rest of your company’s or product’s life. Colors, tagline, copy, campaigns and even a logo may change over the years but be careful with changing your name. It’s a big thing. You’ll probably lose equity you’ve built over the years. You’d better get it right the first time.
And that’s why you start with strategy. Define who you are. Ask yourself what you truly believe in. What makes you cry. And happy. What your role will be in this world. And your competitors’ role. What makes you different. Which values you hold dear. What personality traits and tone fits with your culture. Who your target audience is. Etc. Do this with someone who challenges you. Who shows you the consequences and forces you to choose.
And then write it down. Write a clear brief for yourself or the people who will create your name. Think about your company’s foundation, think about the questions above, get into details. Starting a business or launching a new product is a big step. So, give this big step a name that fits with who you are. It’ll get you better results in the end, guaranteed. Not only for the name, but also for the rest of your brand. It’s the basis for your company’s future.
We’ve fallen into the no-strategy-trap a couple of times. There’s no budget, no time and no clues. This is what it is, we just need a name. And that’s what you get, just aname. Not a name that relates to you specifically, but a name that could apply to any other company. And that’s not what you want, do you?
Would Innocent be named Innocent without their purpose, positioning and witty tone-of-voice? Don’t think so. They might not have written and thought-through every single detail when they started out, but we’re pretty sure they had strong beliefs and thoughts on who they wanted to be and how the drinks market could look like.
Bert wouldn’t be Bert without Ernie. And the other way around. They’re stronger together. And that’s exactly the same for strategy and naming. Your name needs a solid foundation if you want it to be strong, unique and to last. Spend time challenging yourself, dig deeper and write it down. Create the basis that fits you like a glove. It’ll make your life easier in the long run, promise.