A key component of any naming or branding exercise is to thoroughly understand the competitive Namescape, or landscape mapping of names, in your industry:
- What are the company or product names in your market space?
- Do they cluster into obvious types of names?
- Where in this spectrum of competitor names does your name appear?
- Where in this spectrum of competitor names do you want your new name appear in order to A) stand out from the competition, or B) blend in?
- Is there an opportunity in your market space to become a dominant brand by standing out clearly from the pack?
Our goal at Zinzin is to create names that set brands free from their competition. In most cases, blending-in should not even be an option. During the competitive analysis phase of a naming project, we plot the company, product or service names of a given market sector on a Namescape grid (like this one for Search Engines), which becomes a useful reference document of the competitive name reality facing your brand. This helps everyone on your naming team understand what types of names are overused in your market sector and what territory is ripe for exploration if you want to differentiate your brand from the competition.
We encourage you to print out this Namescape grid and play around with how the names are classified. It’s an exercise that will get you thinking about the names in your own market space, which you can map out using this blank Namescape chart.