Naming Brief | Guide + Template

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When switching from Google Docs to HolaBrief, I found that our briefs became significantly more in depth
- Terri Williams, Agency Founder

What is a Naming Creative Brief?

Imagine this. Your client has spent months, maybe even years, on creating their ideal service or product. With a compelling name, you can ensure a reaction or a feeling from your ideal customers that creates opportunities like increasing brand awareness, product sales or simply promoting your product.

Studies have shown that 50% of product launches fail while a lot of critical marketing work has been postponed, and part of it includes coming up with a fitting name.

In short, getting the name right is of utmost importance to any business. And this is where the naming brief comes in. Many successful naming agencies have processes in place to craft the perfect name, and it always starts with setting up a strategic naming brief together with the client.

A naming brief is a document that collects all the information creative leads, copywriters and strategists need to build a strong brand name the client will love, but not only that.

The purpose of a naming brief is also to give the naming project a logistical structure like deliverables, milestones, who is involved, and who is responsible. Anyone who has questions about the project should be able to find the answer within the naming brief.

What Makes a Perfect Naming Brief Document

Thinking of new names without first analyzing what the ideal name should convey is a recipe for disaster. So when you know what a naming brief should include, it motivates all the stakeholders to align on what the ideal name looks like, what to consider, and what are the do’s and don'ts.

To better understand what makes the perfect naming brief, let’s look at what a naming brief is not:

  • It’s not a business plan

A business plan holds cash flow projections and marketing strategies. While these are important to know for the business, they are not at all relevant for the naming.

  • It’s not an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is short and to the point, whereas a naming brief is thorough, strategic, and specific.

  • It’s not a design brief

Although some sections might be equal, a naming brief is not focused on the looks, but rather on language.

How to Write a Naming  Brief? 6 Must-Have Sections

If this is your first time setting up a naming brief, it might be intimidating to start one from the ground up. But don’t worry. In the following paragraphs we guide you through the 5 necessary sections a naming brief should include. If you incorporate these steps in your naming brief, you'll be on the right track.

If however, you’d like to be 100% sure you are setting up the best brief possible for your clients, we invite you to create a HolaBrief account for free and choose our proven Naming Brief Template.

1) Project Overview

The first step in creating your naming brief starts with an overview of the project. Who is the client, and why did they decide to name or rename their brand, services, or products? What are the objectives & what is the budget?

On top of that, it will be very helpful to ask about their brand values. Make sure to include these 3 questions:

  • Where are you now (mission) and where would you like to be (vision)?
  • What is getting in the way of you achieving this goal? Why do you believe this to be the case?
  • What makes your product or service different from your competitors?

2) Objectives

Everything is built with a goal in mind. The same goes for naming projects. The idea in this section is to write down what the name should or must communicate. These can be short words, short phrases, or sentences. But make sure to include a short explanation.

For example: Sustainability: an engaged sustainable brand in the eyes of investors, customers & prospective clients.

Be aware though, that no single name can communicate dozens of objectives. At its best maybe one or two and it could suggest a couple more.

3) Target Audience

What do we know about the audience that will see, use and interact with the name? In the end, the goal of the name is to appeal to exactly your target audience. If you do not have them in mind while crafting the name, your outcome might not be as effective.

So creating a user persona (or several) for your ideal audience is imperative while working on your naming. That is why with HolaBrief we made sure to build an interactive User Persona section you can include in your naming brief and complete with your client.

4) Brand Voice

Is your client’s business elegant? passionate? conversational? Try to describe the personality of the business and the tone of voice you want to strike with the naming.

In HolaBrief we created a simple spider graph where 5 adjectives can be weighed out against each other to have a clear overview of what tonality is more important.

5) Competitive Analysis

What is the industry like? How do the main competitors sound? It’s important to pay particular attention to competitors who match exactly the company’s offerings. Try to avoid sounding similar but still uncover trends of naming that are typical in the business’s niche.

Finally, make sure to write down opinions on the naming of each competitor and how your business is standing out from them.

6) Specification and Requirements

This section is quite important and makes a naming brief quite different from any other brief. Has your client already thought of names before? What words have been discussed? What words need to be included and what words should be avoided?

Lastly, ask your client which brand names inspire them and why. This can be useful for idea generation later on.

Build and Download Proven Naming  Brief Samples with HolaBrief

You made it to the end! This means you are set up with all the tools & tips to create your own naming brief from the start, no matter the type of naming project. But what if we told you you don’t need to start from scratch?

We built HolaBrief to develop the best creative briefing software out there. Thanks to thorough research, talking to dozens of agencies, and loads of trial and error, we crafted the ultimate tool to create interactive, collaborative, and professionally-looking briefs.

Give HolaBrief a try FOR FREE, simply choose one of our proven briefing templates, add info or adjust it to your needs, and send it off to your client in just a few clicks. Yes, getting aligned with your team and client is as simple as that. 

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Either pick from our tested templates or create custom briefs using interactive exercises like Moodboard, Customer Persona, or Competitors Map. Once done, send the link to the client so they can respond without the need to have an account.

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Ready to create standout work in less time?

Join 1000s of agencies using HolaBrief to set up their projects for success.