As I worked on starting Moonshoot, one of the challenges was coming up with a name for the company. My sense, having met up now with plenty of companies that have flat out useless names from a branding point of view, is that this challenge is shared across the land of start-ups. Kind of like many things in business where if you don’t do it often–e.g., firing, hiring, building an advertisement–you’re not naturally inclined to do it well.
Naming something isn’t something I think only start-ups struggle with. Big companies struggle with this all the time too. I’ve seen the process done badly in both places, and I think it’s generally done in the same manner. That is, it tends to put a lot on hope that a good name will launch out of the creative sinews of someone associated with the start-up, product, or feature, and then which has to survive the scrutiny of whatever corporate chucklehead or muckety-muck is going to stand in the way of approval.
If you’re working on naming something–at a start-up or at GE–I’d recommend you visit Igor (www.igor.com). I found them through a Google search, and I loved the tone and personality with which they present themselves, lots of practical, intuitive advice.
But wait, there’s more, oh, much much more, especially for you start-up guys who can’t pay Igor or anyone like them for their creative consulting services. Igor has taken the unique path of describing in detail their philosophy, approach and process in a PDF doc, that you can get for free right here.
It’s an amazing read–it’s funny, it makes sense, and it’s probably worth about $20K in naming consulting and you get it free. I read this in an hour, worked on the name for 3 hours, and had a brand that I both love and that objectively reinforces the key strategy that I’m looking for it to drive.
There’s nothing more useful for naming that I’ve ever seen. So if you need to name a product, company or feature, I’d say push your browser to Igor ASAP.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Igor International, I’ve never paid for or received anything other than their free PDF described above.