A company’s name is heard, seen, and spoken — all day, every day. A well-chosen name will accelerate your brand's development. 

If you've gone through the naming process before, you know how challenging it can be to choose and gain consensus on a name. It demands feats of creativity, patience, diplomacy and compromise. Buckle up and ingest the stress-reliever of your choice. 

To demystify the naming process, and ensure that you get a great name when purchasing naming services, we’ve created a rating system. 

We based this rating system on our integrated brand development process. Our perspective comes from decades of building brands. 

The States of Matter Guide to a 5-Star Name

Rating System

A great name must be many things. This rating system captures the five most critical dimensions of a name to set up a brand for success. 

  1. Strategy

    A name should lead the way to where the business needs to go, and describe the promise the brand will keep with its customers. 

  2. Concept

    This is the name's big idea. A strong name sets up the brand's story by starting a conversation or creating an instant positive association. 
  3. Look

    The way a name appears set in typography is of the utmost importance. Certain letterforms lend themselves more easily to visual design, and names with higher design potential are loaded with personality and symbolism that reference the brand strategy.

  4. Sound

    The way a name rolls off the tongue can make or break a brand. A name should be easy to say and pleasing to hear.
  5. Distinction

    A name should stand out in the market and apart from competitors. Naming techniques can create a new association that makes a name unpredictable, and therefore more memorable. 

Of Course.... 

Is our Five-Star Naming Guide comprehensive of everything you should consider when deciding on a name? Nope. It is highly subjective? Absolutely. 

This is a starting point for discussion as you approach the work, and it's the criteria we use early in our naming process to decide which names will move on to be vetted. 

Also, our rating system does not attempt to measure brand development's halo impact on the name. The fact is, most brand names make a helluva lot more sense three to five years down the road, after all of your actions and decisions have created deep meaning and connections for the name. 

We're going to have some fun with this series. Over the coming weeks, we'll use this system to show you examples of great, and not-so-great, names. 

Most importantly, we want you to understand why naming is so important to your brand and appreciate the level of thought and care that goes in to the craft of naming. So keep an eye on the blog and get ready to up your naming game!

Britt Stromberg

Strategy Director

Britt Stromberg is the Co-Founder of States of Matter and our Director of Strategy. When you put your business and brand in her hands, she will think crazy carefully, listen to her gut, sleep on it—then do the research to be certain.

Filed under: What's in a Name?

Tagged with: Naming, Branding