Print out this blank namescape chart to map out the competitive names in your market.
Name Value:The five levels of the vertical axis represent the relative value of a given name, ranked from a low of 0 value to a max of 5. The Value ranking is of course subjective, but it is derived from factors such as how engaging a name is with its target audience; how many layers of meaning, story, myth, metaphor, imagery the name has; associations, imagery, multiple layers; how memorable the name is; and how differentiated from the competition the name is.
Descriptive Names: Descriptive names are purely descriptive of what a company or product does or its function. They might also take the form of an acronym or the names of the company founders.
Invented Names: This category of names includes the purely invented, the morphemic mash-up, and foreign words that are not widely known to English speakers. At their best, Invented names can be poetic, rhythmic and ripe for investing with the soul of a brand (think Google).
Experiential Names: These are names that map to the experience of using a product or service, or to what a company does, or to an aspect of human experience. This category also includes all the generic adjective-based names, such as Advanced, Superior, Vantage, Smart, Super, Ultra, Mega, etc. Experiential names are usually literal, and are the types of names often created by cross-referencing a vision statement with a thesaurus.
Evocative Names: These are names that map metaphorically, rather than literally, to the brand positioning. Evocative names rise above the goods and services being offered, and paint a bigger picture. The best of them tap into a deep reservoir of shared cultural knowledge, myth, story, imagery, association, legend and art, and usually work on multiple levels. Nearly all the greatest brands that you are familiar with have evocative names.