You’ve done the hard work and you’re almost ready to launch your next product, your new start-up, or your next project. Whatever the case might be, you’re prepared for the roll-out and you’re ready for success. There’s just one element missing: the name.
Naming contests have been developed as a way to connect the smartest creatives with the business leaders who can use their talents. To participate, creatives will read your creative brief, brainstorm, provide their information, and then submit the name that they have come up with to fit your needs.
When to Host a Naming Contest
This is up to you, but generally, it’s a good idea to host your contest well in advance of your product launch. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to brand everything with the new name.
Where to Host a Naming Contest
In order to host a successful naming contest, you will need to do your research. Find out the best platforms for where this type of contest should be hosted. Research specifically where people in your industry are hosting their naming contests.
How to Host A Naming Contest
There are many steps in the process of hosting a successful naming contest. To guarantee the best results, you should do your best to pay close attention to your creative brief.
Your Creative Brief
When you host your naming contest, you should set aside a significant amount of time for thinking about and writing down all the details for your creative brief. There are several different components to your creative brief: the company history, the audience, the project specifications, and the reward.
Describing your audience is perhaps the most important part of hosting a successful naming contest, but explaining the history of your company is extremely important as well. First, you need to remember that the creatives you are contacting probably don’t know that much about your company. Take a few minutes to write at least three paragraphs about what your company does, who the staff of your company is, and where your company is located.
Include information about the mission of your company as well. You don’t want a creative to suggest a name that would completely contradict your company’s core values!
You should also write about what has made your company so successful.
What did your journey look like as a business?
What challenges did you overcome?
What successes did you celebrate?
Provide background about the history of your company. It’s important that the creatives you’re contacting know about how your company has achieved its success and what has motivated your employees to stick with your business.
Once the creatives know more about your company’s history, they will be able to develop an idea of the language your company might use. This background information will help them to give your new product the best possible name, leading to a successful naming contest.
Your audience is extremely important, as you already know, because your target market drives your product. Think about it: you’ve put so much thought into developing your product so it meets the needs of your customers above all else.
The name of your product should specifically and naturally target your market. That means that the creative who is entering your naming contest should know as much as possible about your audience before beginning the brainstorming process. It’s extremely important that, in your creative brief, you include as many details as possible about your audience.
Ask yourself these questions as you are building your creative brief:
• What is the age range of this product’s audience?
• What is the typical gender of this product’s audience?
• What is the typical educational level of this product’s audience?
Will they understand more complex wording?
• What are the interests of this product’s audience?
• All of these questions will help creatives to understand more about your audience.
There are millions of niches in this world, and your product might be targeting just a few or many. It’s up to you to provide the details to the creatives whose help you’ve enlisted to make sure they know as much as possible about your target market.
Your Naming Criteria
Taking the time to think about your naming criteria is essential. If you work at a large company, ask the people whose judgment you trust the most to collaborate with you about what the most important criteria for the new product’s name should be. If you work at a small company, choose a couple of people to collaborate with.
If your company has a dedicated team for this new product, then that team should be working together to come up with a list of what’s most important when it comes to naming criteria. This section of the creative brief for the unlimited naming contest is where you list the specifics.
Ask yourself (and your team):
• What’s most important for this name to suggest?
• What should this name absolutely avoid at all costs?
• What do we want our target market to think of when they hear or read this name?
• What styles are our target markets more drawn to? Informal language?
Formal language? Funny? Serious?
• What words should creatives absolutely avoid?
• What should creatives know about the competition and their use of language?
Make sure you answer all of these questions when you are writing your creative brief. This will help ensure that you are receiving the best, most focused naming suggestions from creatives.
Let’s go a step further:
You should tell your creatives exactly the style of name you’re looking for. Consult with your team members before determining what style will work best for your company and your product. If you are open to a variety of styles, then you should note that in the creative brief.
However, make sure that your brief is not too general. Remember, at the end of the day it will be up to you to read through all of the names that are suggested for your new product in your unlimited naming contest.
Reading through those suggestions takes time and energy. You might want to divide up the task with your team members. No matter what, make it easy on yourself and your team by providing precise, clear directions that inform creatives of just exactly what you’re looking for.
Remember, being vague or ambiguous about even one important aspect in your creative brief can lead to creatives submitting subpar names that don’t match. Instead, save yourself hours of reading through bad name suggestions and re-writing your brief: be specific in the first place.
So, specifically state the style of name that you’re looking for, and to help them even more, provide examples. You can list products that are similar to yours. You can list names that you like – but make sure you also explain why you like those names.
You can improve your chances of a successful unlimited naming contest by providing examples of names to avoid. This goes along with words to avoid but is a little bit broader. Explain just exactly what product names your team has already thought of and why they didn’t work.
Ultimately, a successful unlimited naming contest will work both because you’ve posted it at the right place in the right time, given great directions, and offered a stellar reward. You should decide on what the reward will be for the creative whose idea you like the best. Make the contest worth their while so that you’ll attract the best possible talent.
The Importance of Patience
After you’ve taken the time to think about your vision for your product, research the competition, collaborate with your team, and write your creative brief, you might think that the hard work is over.
The good news is, you’re right – sort of.
Sometimes, even if you’ve written the most specific creative brief that you could possibly imagine, creatives will still have questions about what you’re looking for. Maybe they didn’t do a good job reading your brief, or maybe there was something that you and your team accidentally overlooked. Whatever the cause might be, the effect is that you will have to respond to their question.
Answering questions from creatives requires patience. You already poured your time and energy into the creative brief, but you still have to respond to creatives and do your best to support them. In order to host a successful unlimited naming contest, patience is essential for clear communication with your creatives.
The Results and the Benefits
After the unlimited naming contest submission time is over, you and your team will judge the submissions and announce the winner.
There are great benefits to hosting an unlimited naming contest, such as engaging social audiences and promoting new products. A successful unlimited naming contest can potentially attract thousands of customers. To maximize engagements and social sharing, make sure you follow our steps and truly put time and energy into developing your creative brief. That way, you’re sure to pull off a fantastic unlimited naming contest.