Now you’ve got a niche, and you’re ready to start a business, launch a product, write a book or a blog, or whatever.
What do you call it?
If you’re really good with names, you can skip this one. If you’re really good with names and can explain to the rest of us how to be good with names, please leave your tips in the comments.
I’m actually stealing this exercise from a church trip that I chaperon. The trip happens every year, and each trip gets its own name.
- Writing materials (it’s easiest if you have one that everyone can see, such as a wiki/online document, a whiteboard, or an easel).
- At least 3-4 friends (works with at least up to 56; might work with more)
- Brainstorm possible names This is a purely-brainstorming activity, so no filtering or criticism is allowed: everything goes on the list. Keep going until everyone’s tapped out.
- First voting round Count up the total number of possible names, and divide by three. Everyone gets that many votes. Count the votes for each name, and discard the losers. This will usually cut the list down by 30% -50%.
- More brainstorming What do the names with a lot of votes have in common? Can any of them be combined into one? Did new ideas come to you during the voting? Write them down now.
- Advocacy Everyone has a chance to come to the front of the room (or the bus, or the chat room) and give a 1-2 minute explanation of why they think this name or that name is the best choice.
- Second voting round This time everyone gets fewer votes; somewhere between 3-5, depending on the size of the list.
- Optional: more brainstorming and more advocacy This is mostly for cases where you’ve generated a lot of names — in the 75+ range. Or if you’ve got a lot of contention in the group, and need to come up with compromises. In most cases, this won’t be necessary.
- Final voting round Everyone gets one vote. Whichever name gets the most votes is the winner.
Sometimes you’ll generate a list of names, and everyone in the room will realize that the third-from-the-last one is The Right Name. In that case you can skip the rest of the process and walk away happily.
And this process may not generate as good a name as you could get by sitting down with someone who’s really good with names and just taking their advice. But it will always get you a Good Name. And it’s better to have a good name for an existent product than a perfect name for a non-existent product.
Resources for Further Reading
How to brainstorm – Tips