What you name something is one of the most important steps marketers may take if a product, project or program is to be successful. A creative and memorable name is an important part of your brand identity. There are no hard rules about creating clever names, but here are a few guidelines to follow:
Be collaborative, part 1: Start with a small group and brainstorm ideas. It’s rare, but you actually may hit a grand slam right off the bat. If you are so lucky, test the name with a select few of the target audience. CFM was cooking when it came up with the concept for “Old Voltage Meter,” a commemorative ale celebrating the 100th anniversary of Local 48 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
Be collaborative, part 2: Sometimes it helps to take your initial thoughts to a larger group. When managing communications for the Portland City Hall renovation project, CFM asked top PR professionals for public relations agencies and local governments to serve as volunteers in a focus group. The city was delighted with the outcome. The group came up with the phrase “ Historic Portland City Hall: Restoring the Heart of the City.”
Be visual: Words alone are not enough. Powerful images are a must. In the IBEW and city hall examples, the memorable phrases that were selected inspired wonderful visuals. A great name influenced the logo introducing a new neighborhood to Portlanders — “The Brewery Blocks: In Portland’s Pearl District” — and associating the exciting new project with the energy of the trendy urban community.