Just as builders think about the styles of their buildings in advance, so, too, should the naming architecture of a company be thought out well. The reality usually shows another picture, especially when it comes to naming products, services, or fares and rates. Over years and decades, developers and product managers have left their traces on names, present at all times in the various product names and brand names. With each new introduction onto the market, a new thing comes along.
What should therefore be done to accomplish this?
When a logical naming architecture for a company is to be set up, everything starts with well-founded analysis. Of course, market and brand environment analyses play a role here, as well. But when developing a naming architecture “during running operations,” even more important is a deep knowledge of the existing brand portfolio, the individual products, product groups, product categories, and the additional offerings and services associated with them. This involves a variety of questions — weighted differently depending on the company and product. It is about, among other things, the awareness of the market in the relevant target groups, about market share and the share of turnover within the company, about product life cycles and organizational aspects, about product labeling and packaging design, and about the international distribution…
The assessment follows the analysis and evaluation of what has already been introduced and established. At the naming agency, we are always looking for the starting point that gives the existing spectrum of names a structure. Often, a common thread can be found. Or a few brand names or parts of names create a structure that can be worked with in the future. Only in the rarest of cases is it possible to completely change all existing brand names. Creativity and the ability to integrate are the keys to the naming architecture.
The first recognizable naming structure follows the formulation of the strategic options. Then, at the agency, we work creatively in a targeted fashion and evaluate name ideas within this naming strategy. The naming strategy is put to the test on the basis of the first product names or product group names. In this creative and research phase, it can best be determined whether one or more naming approaches are consistent and long-lasting, whether there are sufficient ideas and derivations for the approach(es), and whether the approach or approaches are set up such that later, within the company new names can be created by marketing staff or product managers.
At the end of the naming process to create a consistent naming architecture, the following are set:
- A strategy for the naming architecture.
- A concept for giving names.
- Naming guidelines for giving names.
- First concrete names.