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How to Pick Killer Company and Product Names


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How to pick killer names: naming exercises for mere mortals. Here are some simple naming exercises that we use at Highfive to come up with company and product names. Read more at

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How to Pick Killer Company and Product Names

  1. 1. >   uct & prod y compan How to pick killer names Naming exercises for mere mortals Dave King @dbkinger
  2. 2. Most teams get stuck with bad naming strategies HiPPO (Highest paid person’s opinion) Internal code names Whatever domain is available Out of touch High priced agencies Photo credit: MattysFlick
  3. 3. You can burn lots of cash trying to market a bad name Bad naming strategies cost $$$ Spend  marke9ng  dollars  to   communicate  what  your   name  doesn’t.   or   Hire  an  expensive  agency  to   fix  your  mistake.  
  4. 4. You don’t need to be a creative genius
  5. 5. Just commit to a few easy (and fun) exercises 1. Brandscape ive 4. Competit namescape 2. Analogy boards 5. Dot voting urcing 3. Crowdso 6. Due diligence
  6. 6. 1. Brandscape* •  “Is your brand most like…” card sorting exercise •  Sort across 10 different categories •  Why is much more important than what *Brandscape exercise adapted by Jonathan Bolden at Leader
  7. 7. 1. Brandscape* categories Cars Actors Actresses Sports Animals Architecture *Brandscape exercise adapted by Jonathan Bolden at Leader Trees Places Brands Colors
  8. 8. Use post-its to group key attributes
  9. 9. 2. Analogy boards Select 3 analogous experiences Highfive examples: •  Launching off an aircraft carrier •  World Cup victory •  Last day of school " Use magazines to create image boards Jot down why for each image
  10. 10. Get creative, get messy! Launching off an Aircraft Carrier World Cup Victory Last Day of School
  11. 11. 3. Crowdsourcing Hello,  my  name  is  _________.   Create a contest for employees and customers. Include cocktails for added creativity. Photo  credit:  alexkess  
  12. 12. 4. Competitive namescape Competitive names by name classification Functional Competitor A Experiential Eye Opener X Competitor B Invented X X Competitor C Competitor D X Competitor E X X Competitor F X Competitor G Competitor H X Name Classifications Functional names = describe the product or service Invented names = made up word with no meaning Experiential names = words that describe the product experience or emotion Eye Opener = truly provocative or unexpected names (e.g. Virgin) ity Opportun Untapped
  13. 13. 5. Dot voting highfive Give people 5 dots each and let them vote for their favorite names
  14. 14. 6. Due diligence ✓ Domain availability ✓ Trademark availability ✓ Foreign translations No creativity here. Just hard work and lots of iteration.
  15. 15. Good luck picking a brilliant name! Photo  credit:  Melanie  Riccardi   @dbkinger   @HighfiveHQ