One of the definitions of a brand is a name with a promise. Most consumer research focuses on defining and refining the promise – finding ways to manage the positioning and execution of products and services so they are bought by the widest possible audience. But often the name is part of the brief, so if you are trying to rise to the challenge right now, here is a Tangible Q&A on creating and researching brand names.

First things first: is consumer research a good way to find a great brand name?

No. Unless you are very lucky it is an expensive and inefficient way of going about it. However, it is a great way to ensure you don’t launch a bad one

Is co-creation a better way?

Getting consumers involved in screening and filtering is a good idea, but unless you recruit consumers who happen to be great at naming don’t expect them to come up with the winner

So, what is the best way to come up with a new name?

As with all idea generation exercises, we believe the best approach is to brief individuals, get them to work alone and take the ideas that emerge into group sessions for critiquing and building.

Is research worth doing at all and if so, when is the right time to talk to consumers?

Research cannot make successful names, but it can help improve the chances of success at three key points in the process. Before you start – to understand context, expectations and the competitor landscape; at an interim stage – to help filter out mistakes, and at the end – to help give confidence that you’ve cracked it.

Quant or qual?

A Qual at the outset, face-to-face individual interviews at the interim, and quant at the end.

Any tips on knowing when you’ve cracked it?

You can only get it right in the market, not in research. The role of research is to reduce the risk of failure by screening out names that are weak or just plain wrong. Our top 5 tips for creating a top name are:

  1. Make time to work at it, don’t leave it until the last minute
  2. Make it as real as you can when you present it (mock it up – seeing is believing)
  3. Make it sound good and easy to pronounce (easily researched face to face)
  4. Make it different and memorable (a 2 stage check will prove this)
  5. Make your launch activity focus on name recognition and recall

So, why is our name Tangible?

It is our promise to give you something you can work with.