Steal This Idea: The 6 Naming Styles

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What kind of name will work hardest for you? Should the name literally describe the offering, or should it suggest a benefit? Is it better to imply an idea, or to invoke a brand’s history? Getting the answer to these questions will help you choose the right name. But before you can do that, you have to know your options.

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Steal This Idea: The 6 Naming Styles

  1. 1. STEAL THIS IDEA The 6 Naming Styles BY MARTY NEUMEIER
  2. 2. What kind of name will work hardest for you? Should the name literally describe the offering, or should it suggest a benefit? Is it better to imply an idea, or to invoke a brand’s history? Getting the answer to these questions will help you choose the right name. But before you can do that, you have to know your options. LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  3. 3. The 6 naming styles add context so you can see the full landscape of choices. You can use this tool throughout the naming process: analyze the competition, organize your list, or develop more names in a style you hadn’t considered. Below are the six styles—learn them and you’ll be on your way to winning the naming game. LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  4. 4. DESCRIPTIVE: These names literally describe a brand’s offering. Consider a descriptive name when developing a suite of offerings under one larger brand or company name. LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  5. 5. Google Maps Schwab Advisor Network BMW 328i salesforce.com Netflix STAGE-GATE INNOVATION LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  6. 6. SUGGESTIVE: A name is suggestive if it implies a market position (or positioning attribute). This direction allows for more evocative or emotional opportunities. LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  7. 7. 2 Suggestive Google Maps Wag Hotels Schwab Advisor Network Twitter BMW 328i jetBlue salesforce.com Rockhopper Netflix Facebook STAGE-GATE INNOVATION LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  8. 8. METAPHORICAL: A metaphor is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects. In naming, it’s a great way to imbue a car brand, for example, with the attributes of an animal. LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  9. 9. 2 Suggestive 3 Metaphorical Google Maps Wag Hotels Jaguar Schwab Advisor Network Twitter Brocade BMW 328i jetBlue Target salesforce.com Rockhopper Senset Netflix Facebook Shell STAGE-GATE INNOVATION LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  10. 10. NEOLOGICAL: Why not create a new word? Another approach is putting together morphemes — the smallest unit of language that carries meaning. LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  11. 11. 2 Suggestive 3 Metaphorical Google Maps Wag Hotels Jaguar Schwab Advisor Network Twitter Brocade BMW 328i jetBlue Target salesforce.com Rockhopper Senset Netflix Facebook Shell STAGE-GATE INNOVATION 4 Neological Kodak Accenture Wii Humira Prius LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  12. 12. HISTORICAL: If a brand has equity in its heritage, use it. Consider the name of the founder, or the first product ever launched. This method often has great “legs” and allows for meaning to be unpacked for years. LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  13. 13. 2 Suggestive 3 Metaphorical Google Maps Wag Hotels Jaguar Schwab Advisor Network Twitter Brocade BMW 328i jetBlue Target salesforce.com Rockhopper Senset Netflix Facebook Shell STAGE-GATE INNOVATION 4 Neological 5 Historical Kodak Smuckers Accenture Zeiss Optical Wii Tesla Motors Humira John Hancock Prius Mini Cooper LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  14. 14. ARBITRARY: These names have almost nothing to do with the brand’s position in the market, nevertheless, people will make meaning of it by connecting your name with what you do. Arbitrary names are among the most legally defensible. LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  15. 15. The 6 naming styles 2 Suggestive 3 Metaphorical Google Maps Wag Hotels Jaguar Schwab Advisor Network Twitter Brocade BMW 328i jetBlue Target salesforce.com Rockhopper Senset Netflix Facebook Shell STAGE-GATE INNOVATION 4 Neological 5 Historical 6 Arbitrary Kodak Smuckers Apple Accenture Zeiss Optical Viking Wii Tesla Motors Lotus Humira John Hancock Virgin Prius Mini Cooper Fandango LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER
  16. 16. Find more Marty Neumeier ideas to steal at liquidagency.com/blog LIQUIDAGENCY.COM | SOURCE: THE BR AND GAP BY MA RT Y NEUMEIER

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