Dynamo's Naming Worksheet for Clients - (Email us to request a Word Doc):

Dynamo.com, info@Dynamo.com
Client Contact (Name, Email, Phone):
Your Name:

This informal worksheet is intended to help Dynamo generate a list of new name candidates for your enterprise. Its not a prerequisite to using our service, but for most projects it is very helpful.

The limitations of intuitive dot-com availability and extant trademark rights now make naming a new company, product, or service a task that requires more than just creative input. This worksheet helps us gather the specific information about you, your trade, and your competition that we'll need. We've heard back that this exercise also helps clients focus their goals for their companies, and opens up some worthwhile discussions among teammates. We hope it gets you thinking about the work that you do, and where you'd like your enterprise to go in the future.

If you're a new client and we haven't sent you this worksheet yet as an attachment, you can copy and paste this text into a Word doc or into an email and remit it to info@Dynamo.com. Feel free to send back one unified response, or multiple copies from whomever wishes to contribute. All of the following data is kept in strict confidence solely for the purposes of this exercise and NDAs are available on request. We hope you'll respond to as many of the questions as you can, and thank you in advance!

A1. What products or services does your company provide? [Please include trademark class(es) if known.]
A2. Which is the most important product or service you provide in terms of your company's profit?
A3. In your opinion, which is the most important product or service you provide that will contribute to your company's future growth and success?
A4. When your customer feels a need for your company's help or product, what other associated needs or problems are foremost in his or her mind (ie., "I need toothpaste, but toothpaste is expensive.")?
A5. What do you think are your customer's driving goals for the future at the time he or she calls on your company (ie. "I need toothpaste, but I'd like my teeth to look whiter.")?
A6. How do you think the needs of your customers will evolve in five to ten years?
A7. Describe the demographic of your biggest customer base in as much detail as possible (ie., age, affluence, market sophistication, gender, formality/informality, regional location, etc.).
A8. Describe the demographic of your biggest customer base five to ten years from now (ie., market getting younger or older, regional location, change in gender ratio, more sophisticated about this market, will you be working directly with customers or with intermediates like distributors or marketing staff, etc.).
A9. How would you like others to perceive your company?
A10. Does the public have any perceptions or misconceptions about your company that you want to eradicate?
A11. How is the most profit generated in trades that are similar to yours?
A12. What future products and services are you sure you'll come to provide?
A13. Is there a source of profit that you might want to tap into (other specific products or services), but about which you are currently unsure?
A14. What is the geographic area to which you offer or intend to offer products or services (regional and where, specific countries, global)? Note that this strongly affects your naming options. Please note whether you would wish to trade in another name in foreign-language markets (ie., if you love the name Doritos, would you rather be Doritos in the US and Goldflakes in Japan, or would you rather pick another name to begin with for the sake of global brand consistency). If you have discussed this with counsel, please include their input in your answer.
A 15. What do your customers love about your company that you want to emphasize in your branding and marketing?
A16. Please include here any general comments you may have about your company:

B1. What are the names of your competitors in your immediate market?
B2. What are the names of your competitors that may invade your market in future (national or global corporations in particular)?
B3. What is your competition doing wrong?
B4. What is your competition doing right?
B5. How are you the superior choice for your customers now, and how do you want to distinguish yourself from the competition in future?
B6. As regards the previous question, could a push to exceed your competition in the short term hurt your company in any way (could a reaction to what they're doing sidetrack your company's goals)?
B7. What names, logos, themes, and images are in use by your competitors and by companies that you believe may invade your market? (Website addresses are helpful if you know them.)
B8. Describe the brand used by your most powerful and successful competition, or by a leader in your same field.
B9. Why do you think customers respond to their brand?
B10. What do you think could turn customers off about their brand?
B11. What branding directions do you think might be helpful to help you distinguish yourself in your market (ie., more fun/more serious, more corporate/more personal, etc.)?
B12. What do you think Dynamo needs to know about your specific trade that is relevant to naming your company?
B13. Please include here any comments you may have about your competition and distinguishing yourselves in the field:

C1. Describe in general terms the sort of name you think would work well for your company.
C2. What kinds of names turn you off and why?
C3. Describe some specific names and their brands which appeal to you and which are similar to the direction you'd like your brand to go (ie., Yahoo vs Microsoft and why, Diesel Clothing vs the Gap, Wonder Bread vs Artisan Breads, Blast Radius or Razorfish vs AOL, etc.)?
C4. What branding images and themes are you using now which you want to keep?
C5. How would you like to revamp your branding and image (ie., become more friendly, more global and corporate, etc.)?
C6. If you were to overhear a conversation at a restaurant, what adjectives describing your company would you be most pleased to hear (ie., progressive, responsive, etc.)
C7. What adjectives would ruin your appetite? (ie., dated, beaurocratic, etc.)
C8. Are there specific suffixes and textstrings which you consider already too overused in your field to be viable (ie., --spring, Tech--, --era, Micro--, etc.)?
C9. Are you listed in Yahoo, or if were to be listed, in which categories would you expect to appear (ie., web design services>regional>California>, etc.)?
C10. Is there anything specific about your regional location, history, or team that you might incorporate into your name and branding, now or in future?
C11. Are you aware of any advantages or disadvantages of doing so (in re above question)?
C12. Do you have any rigid specifications such as name length, ease of spelling, audibility (means: can name be understood and spelled later when it has only been heard rather than seen in print), seriousness, one-word, no risque overtones, no puns, etc.?
C13. What marketing media do you intend to use, in descending order of importance (ie., internet banners, print ads, radio spots, etc.)?
C14. Do you have any preferred or disliked naming styles from the following list?
Latin Roots: Acer, Pentium, Agilent.
Foreign Language or Influence: Yoplait, Mariposa, Samurai.
Personal Names: YourLastName, Lauren, Martha Stewart, Hilton.
Compound Partial: Microsoft, FedEx, Qualcomm.
Compound Whole: Mindspring, Walkman, Powerbook.
Alliterative: Brooks Brothers, Smart Start, Piggly Wiggly.
Acronyms: IBM, AOL.
Trade Specific: Jiffy Lube, RentNet, Hostway.
Trade Non-Specific: Mustang, Razorfish, Blast Radius, Apple.
Location: New York Life, Boston Market.
Number Names: V-8, 98Point6, 7-11.
Puns and Double Intendres: Cruel World, Crackerjacks.
Irreverent: Google, Yahoo, Monster.
Coined Words: Verizon, Quaalude, Xerox.
Historical/Literary: Victoria's Secret, Cherokee.
Actual Words and Expressions: Matchmaker, Rent, Food.
Idioms: Cruel World, Top Gun.
Word Associations: True Value, Hickory Farms, Freelander, Caterpillar, Lifetime.

C15. What other names do you have in the works, and why do you favor or dislike each?
C16. What are the difficulties you've had in naming your company that are most important for Dynamo to address (ie., past name ideas are: not TM-available, not dot-com-available, not corporate enough, too goofy, forgettable, too hard to spell, took too long and we're in a hurry, etc.)?
C17. What is the single most important byword for your company? For instance, if only one of the following words is in a customer's mind, and they're 'free associating,' with which word would you want to be associated: cutting-edge, tech support, safety, approachable/friendly, simple, extensibility, global, healthy, indulgent pleasure, beauty, sexy, strong, durable, upper-class, urbane, smart, etc.
C18. Please include here any comments you may have on naming and branding this enterprise:

Are you still conscious? Please email this for review. We'll get in touch with your contact person shortly to fine tune specific naming and trademark issues raised by all comments submitted. Thereafter, we'll issue vetted brand options with analyses for your consideration. Thank you!

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