The consequences of not doing your naming pre-work
Here’s the truth: if you don’t do your naming pre-work, one or more of the following is very likely to happen:
Extra rounds of naming is a common side effect of not doing pre-work. As is even a redo of the whole project. It doesn’t matter if you’ve hired out or doing it internally: extra work means spending extra money that could have been avoided.
We have a saying here at House of Who: “slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” Another one: “go slow to go fast.” The point is, taking the time in the beginning to make sure pre-work is done (and done well) will mean the ability to work quickly and efficiently for the rest of the project. Don’t make me remind you of the other adage: time is money.
Wasted creative energy
Look, creative inspiration is a resource. While some people seem to have unlimited creative energy or techniques for creativity (we have our share, considering we sometimes generate 1000+ names for a project) the reality is: no one is a naming and idea machine. Doing your pre-work means applying all that great creative juice to the right creative direction.
Nobody likes the feeling of whiplash, conflict, starting over, or failure. Too many attempts at the naming game can create disappointment and frustration within your team, and to be honest, within your relationship with your agency. If the people guiding your naming process are trying to get the pre-work i’s crossed and t’s dotted before you begin, listen. It will help morale on all sides as you actually make it to the finish line with a new name.
Angry brand folks
You forgot to check on brand and naming guidelines, didn’t you? Someone did all that work for a reason. If you don’t consult it during the naming process, your people are going to feel annoyed and disrespected.
Angry marketing & sales people
You forgot to ask them for their input and now they have to sell a name they think “isn’t sexy enough,” right? While sex appeal is far from the only naming guideline, if you land on a name your sales and marketing team doesn’t know what to do with…that’s going to be a problem.
Angry product or engineering people:
The name isn’t accurate to what the product does? Oops.
Angry legal team
You didn’t screen the name before launching the product and now you’ve been sent a Cease & Desist?! Time. Money. Effort. All for naught with the bonus of potential legal fees! No good.
Arrive at gridlock
Here’s the end of the story when teams can’t decide on a name: they stick with the status quo (current name or codename). How can you lead in the marketplace with the status quo?
Spin in circles
Often teams jump into the naming work by starting to brainstorm. They make some progress and get a list of names, try to narrow them down, can’t quite pick, decide to do some more brainstorming, narrow those down, can’t quite pick, decide to do some more brainstorming… rinse & repeat. Spinning in circles often also includes or leads to one or more of the above consequences.
Find yourself stumped and need to call a naming agency
Well, that’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, we’re right here!