Nowadays the job of Product Manager or Product Marketing Manager is much more defined in the technical fields than it used to be, helped along by some product management training companies and even a number of product camps. But why do their systems and flowcharts not show Packaging as a formal step in the process? A consumer products company would be horrified to skip this step, even if their products are also virtual and sold only on the internet.
As is often the case, if no one else does it, then that function is clearly the responsibility of the product manager. Packaging they can maybe punt over the cubicle to marcom or graphics design team, but the name is a key part of the packaging, and has big positioning, financial and legal overtones. Unfortunately, most product managers only get involved in naming once every three or fours years. For top management it is often every five or six or more years. Which means they are usually woefully out of date with the reality of naming and think you can still have a brain storming session with expensive management all sitting around a conference table while crazy ideas are thrown out and people dig in dictionaries and Wikipedia for inspiration.
I have discovered that we all think we will know the magic name when it hits us. The reality, of course, is that if we all agree right away on a great name, it probably means we relate to it because we know of it from somewhere in our past. By definition this almost always means it is taken. So when the lawyer responds, we trudge back to those expensive waste of time executive conference meetings – now discouraged, but still with no process to ensure success.
But there is hope. You can learn the name development and checking process. There are good books out there (including humbly my own Brighter Names) to guide your team. But you still often need some great creative input -especially as by now you are looking at some more urgent deadlines.
And that is why naming agencies exist. They are staffed by wordsmiths who look at names all day and everyday, not just once every few years. They study roots, languages, competitors, phonetics and trademarks. They have proven skilled consultants in different locales and from different backgrounds to get a broad variety of names on a master list in short order. Plus the better ones have giant databases of names collected over the years and they know how to do current trademark checks quickly. And they have the experience to bring a team to consensus in a timely fashion through good executive meeting facilitation.
Due to this need from corporations and startups alike, the naming niche consulting industry has also grown a lot in size and efficiency. As a result, unlike your legal fees from lawyers to check names, prices have come down dramatically too. So now there are good proven agencies that can efficiently do your complete naming project in the $3,000 to $5,000 price range – and even less for small startups. Plus it only takes three to four weeks max and most can handle international naming and trademark work too. This is much cheaper than most companies can do it in-house especially when you consider the hourly cost of those execs around the conference table and the lawyers standing by.
See also older related article: Save $6000 in Trademark Legal Fees.
(C) Copyright Brighter Naming ®