Are you this small business naming agency’s ideal client?
This naming agency business is full of war stories. Just the other day, I had the good fortune of sitting down with a tremendously bright and experienced trademark lawyer. He’s seen his share of lackluster names, seen the results of well-intended punsters and he knows what’s out there service-wise. Our discussion prompted me to riff a bit here on why the process goes so badly for so many so often and how I think I’ve been able to defeat the odds. (No time for humility here – that’s on reserve for the brand vision inside you. For me, the only way to truly honor that vision is to meet it head-on: with whip-smart strategy and a process that mitigates the risks smaller businesses and smaller budgets face when trying to tackle creative projects.)
But, full disclosure: my ideal naming client doesn’t really need to be sold on the value of a good name. If he/she could afford it, he/she would absolutely be talking to the larger naming agencies.
The more you understand naming’s unique objectives and challenges, the more you recognize the value here.
Thinking back, my ideal client has already tried to come up with names. Cocktail napkins. Endless hours on Google. Often, they’ve already gone the crazy Uncle Lenny and the crowd-sourced naming routes, coming up not only empty-handed but delayed and demoralized. If that’s not bad enough, on a few occasions, I’ve actually had to do cleanup work for clients who were utterly dissatisfied with the work of other reputable firms.
(That said, do I mind if you need some reinforcement about the investment you’re about to make and why? Absolutely not. It really is my privilege and my pleasure to answer all of your questions, even the tough ones, and to help demystify some of the notions around naming and branding in general.)
Where do many naming agencies and company namers get it wrong?
- Monkeys typing Shakespeare (Myth: the more people working on my project, the greater the chances of success. Reality: only one person is going to nail your new name by “getting you” the most. “Safety in numbers” simply does not apply to the company naming and product naming disciplines.)
- Inadequate listening.
- No real investment into the underlying business model.
- Branding over positioning. (Big, hairy mistake. And just asking you simple questions, without challenging you on the premises or analyzing the business imperatives, does NOT qualify as a legitimate briefing process.)
- Puns and misspellings and pedestrian polyglot, oh my!
How I’ve achieved success as a business naming consultant:
- A unique combination of analytical and creative strengths.
- A deep understanding of branding, positioning and business development.
- Uncommon focus and tenacity.
- A proven desire to help people get where they want to go.
- Infectious humor and enthusiasm – a happy process leads to happy names.
When it comes to the high costs of company naming, it pays to get it right the first time.
If you, like Goldilocks, have been searching for a just-right, priced-right option, I’m here for you. Clearly, naming is not an inexpensive undertaking. Not for you and not for me, either. (When you add up the hours that typically go into a naming assignment*, it’s not what you’d call a profit center. It just happens to be something I love doing for people.)
Is it a big naming agency you’re after or simply a killer name?
You: an innate appreciation for BOTH creative abundance and a streamlined creative process, a passion for bringing your new brand to life in the most meaningful manner possible, and a budget of five to ten grand, depending upon the number of options you desire and a few other factors.
Me: a total commitment to your naming success.
Call me on it.
*A naming assignment requires 48 – 68 hours of high-speed name generation work, depending upon the category and the number of options you’ve requested. In a future blog post, I’ll explain why the caffeine-fueled journey takes “so long,” even for a quick thinker.