As Shakespeare once wrote, “What’s in a name?” The playwright may have alluded to the fact that names don’t have any worth or meaning, but at Big Human, we know that isn’t always the case. In fact, the name of a brand, company, or product has an immeasurable impact on recognition and success.
In our decade-plus of working with both startups and established companies, we’ve done our fair share of naming. Take Plentiful, for example. A free reservation system for food pantries, it needed a name that spoke to the benefit of the service, not the problem. Gemini, the bitcoin exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, hit the mark by reflecting on both the nature of the company as well as the founders. Pavilion, formerly known as Coprocure, came to Big Human seeking a new brand identity that communicated the idea of people coming together — after several rounds of brainstorming and workshops, Pavilion was named the winner.
Whether you’re looking to name your startup, rename a company, or develop a naming system for a subset of products or services, our strategists can take you through our research-based naming process.
Just as brand pillars are used to help inform a larger brand strategy (including messaging, design decisions, and overall product experience), they should be heavily considered throughout every stage of the naming process. Considered to be the foundational principles on which a brand is built, brand pillars often manifest as personality characteristics, which should be expressed at every customer touchpoint — beginning, first and foremost, with the name itself. Learn more about our naming process below.
We believe brand identities should work together with technology and digital products to create a unified experience and encourage deeper engagement.
Not only does a startup name have to be memorable and catchy, it also needs to reflect the brand and mission of the company — like the Gemini example above. Ultimately, the name should be unique and able to stand the test of time, as it’ll become the face of the company.
The decision to rename a brand can be daunting — but rewarding if done correctly. While it’s often a challenging process, a successful rename can help position your company for future growth and success.
Our naming process isn’t strictly for brands; our product expertise allows us to take on the often-complex task of renaming products and product systems. Ultimately, a well-chosen product name can help differentiate it in the market and drive sales.
Trademarking a name is not always necessary for startups, but Big Human does perform competitive searches to ensure the short list of name options is clear within the client’s industry. For some clients, we can recommend an attorney to conduct a USPTO knock-out search.
Our Naming Process
Every naming project is different, but it typically looks something like this.
In parallel with the overarching brand strategy, we’ll explore and ideate a series of options for new brand names that make sense when it comes to brand personality, messaging, and positioning.
Once we have a large batch of initial options — compiled from themes, idea threads, word fragments, and word associations — we’ll whittle them down through several rounds of internal and collaborative voting and scoring.
Our common practice is to settle on three to five top choices to be passed off for review. From those, we’ll need to pick one to proceed to the subsequent phases.
Big Human does perform basic competitive searches to avoid existing names (this does not include a USPTO knock-out search which may incur additional legal costs).
Congrats — this is where you officially have a brand new name. At this point, many of our projects move into the design phase, where the name can be transformed into a logo and additional collateral.
Naming Services at Big Human
If you’re looking to name or rename your company, brand, or product, we’d love to talk. Feel free to reach out, and we’ll be in touch shortly. In the meantime, take a look at some of our naming and branding work here.