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High Tech Marketing Consultant: Red Giant Consulting http://www.redgiantconsulting.com Tamara's Tech Marketing Tips Mon, 09 Jul 2018 17:51:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.18 Leading a Naming Brainstorm http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2012/02/27/leading-a-naming-brainstorm/ http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2012/02/27/leading-a-naming-brainstorm/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 17:22:38 +0000 http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/?p=371 In my last post, I talked about some things to think about before trying to come up with a new company or product name.  In this post, I’ll lay out some brainstorming ice-breakers and discussion starters, as well as how to test your new name.

Things to Consider

Before starting the brainstorm, arm yourselves with a good thesaurus and an Internet connection because you will want to consider:

  • Noun forms and meanings
  • Verb forms and meanings
  • Etymology — earlier forms of words
  • Morphemes — word parts
  • Idioms — common phrases
  • Synonyms
  • Greek & Latin
  • Characters
  • Mythology
  • Folklore
  • Cultural references
  • Literary references
  • Plants
  • Gemstones/Minerals
  • Animals
  • Internet MEMEs

Different Brainstorming Exercises

You can either break up into groups and assign various exercises or just work through these as a group.  Assign a time limit to each exercise so that you don’t get bogged down in any one category.  Remember to eliminate those that don’t match your naming criteria.

  1. Just Say It  — get right to the point and say what you do (Brown n Serve Rolls, U-Haul truck…)
  2. Just Imply It – suggestive words that call to mind by logic or association (Campfire Marshmallows, Holiday Inn, Acutrim…)
  3. Suggest Expertise / Preemptive / Leadership — incorporate an authority figure or use words like best, first… (Mr. Coffee, Burger King, Best Buy…)
  4. Suggest results / benefits — e.g. save, reduce, increase
  5. Words that describe the buyer — e.g. demanding, cautious…
  6. What is the buyer trying to get rid of — e.g. confusion, costs, risks…
  7. Morphemes / Combination names — names made up of one or more words and/or word parts with partial or complete meaning retained, limit to 2-3 syllables (e.g. Facebook, Microsoft, WordPress…)
  8. Homophones — e.g. Higher / Hire
  9. Visual Imagery — leaves a visual image of what the product does, its benefits, or the user
  10. Evoke Emotion — words that evoke strong feelings or give an emotional appeal (e.g. Victoria’s Secret, Guiltless Gourmet…)
  11. Arbitrary names — names that have no specific meaning, open brainstorm, can make up words
  12. Keyword Research tool — research related words or search terms to words you like from the exercises above
  13. Altering suggestive words to make them unique — e.g. Compaq
  14. Oxymorons — e.g. Cold Fusion
  15. Alliteration — e.g. Intel Inside
  16. Rhyme — e.g. Shake n Bake
  17. Onomatopoeia — words that imitate sounds (e.g. Sizzler Steakhouse…)
  18. Stylized Spelling — e.g. KwikMart

Once you’ve completed these exercises you need to narrow it down.  Get each committee member to select their top five names using tally marks on a white board with the names on it.  Use the highest overall ranking results to create a list of names to test.

Testing Your Names

  1. Does it meet the criteria you agree upon?
  2. How long is it?
  3. Say it out loud — is it well understood? Can the listener guess the spelling?
  4. Say it over the phone — is it understood? Can the listener guess the spelling?
  5. Ask strangers to pronounce it.  Did they get it right?
  6. Look it up in the dictionary — what does it mean?
  7. Does it have a meaning in other languages in countries where you do business?
  8. How will it be shortened? Are those variations acceptable?
  9. Ask people in the real world what emotions it evokes, what they might guess the company does, and what they infer based on the name.
  10. Do a Google search on the name, what comes up?
  11. Is the domain available?
  12. Are social media profiles available? (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube…)

Selecting a Name

Based upon your test results, narrow the list down to your top five.  Get feedback from your employees, board, and customers, then make your final selection.

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Choosing a Company Name http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2012/02/07/choosing-a-company-name/ http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2012/02/07/choosing-a-company-name/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 21:33:59 +0000 http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/?p=365 I’ve worked with quite a few organizations over the years to brainstorm new company and product names.  Along the way, I’ve come up with a process to help stimulate the creative juices and keep the team on track.  This is the first of a two-part series that will walk you through what I’ve learned and some tips for start ups searching for the perfect name.

1.  Assemble your Team

Names rarely just pop into your head.  You need a good team for a brainstorm — and not just the marketing department.  Bring together people from management, technology, sales, marketing, and even HR to get a well-rounded team.  But don’t forget that teams need leaders.  If you think you will find a new name that everyone loves you are deluding yourself.  Someone needs to be in charge and make a decision on a name that meets the mutually-agreed upon criteria and passes the testing phase.  Maybe it is the CEO, maybe not, but you can’t have anyone pull rank once the decision has been made so if your CEO has the last word, then provide him/her with 2-3 options and let them make the final selection.

2.  Set some Brainstorming Ground Rules

In addition to choosing a “decider,” you also need someone to lead the brainstorm.  The moderator needs to reinforce certain rules throughout the brainstorming session such as:

  • Criticism is withheld.
  • Quantity vs. quality (at least to start!)
  • It is an open field — far out ideas are welcome.
  • Feel free to combine words/ideas or expand on something already stated.
  • Move quickly, don’t stop to think or analyze.  Save that for after you have a list of ideas.

3.  Decide on your Naming Criteria

Before your brainstorm starts, you need to decide as a group on your naming criteria. For example, do you want your name to be descriptive, stand-alone, or a blank slate?  Here are some common naming criteria to get you started:

  • Simple and easy to pronounce
  • Memorable
  • Timeless
  • Appropriate globally
  • Positive connotations
  • Distinctive
  • Available (domain, social media…)

Other criteria that may be relevant to your company include:

  • Suggestive meaning (e.g. AdWords, WordPerfect…)
  • Short (1 word only)
  • Portrays personality of the product/company (fun, serious, irreverent…)
  • Consistent with the company image (professional, smart, leading, cutting-edge…)
  • Free-standing /blank slate (e.g. Oink)
  • Provocative
  • Expresses benefits
  • Other: evoke emotion, define new category…

4.  Assign some Homework

Before the brainstorm, it is good to give some homework assignments that will get your team thinking about what they like and don’t like about names and what personality the company represents.  Here are some “take home” questions I like to ask:

  • Review competitors’ names and try to identify what criteria they meet.  What do you like and dislike about their names?
  • Describe the company/product personality traits you want to convey.
  • What are the cultural references that will resonate with your target audience? Are they sports fans, music lovers, sci-fi geeks, history buffs, art critics?
  • If your company was a TV/film character, who would it be and why?
  • If your company was a public figure, who would it be and why?
  • If your company was an animal, what would it be and why?
  • If your company was a song, band, or type of music, who or what would it be and why?
  • If your company was a sport or athlete, who or what would it be and why?

Next we will get into some brainstorming exercises, stay tuned? What other tips would you suggest?

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Shazam and IntoNow: The Audio QR Code for Advertising http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2012/02/02/shazam-and-intonow-the-audio-qr-code-for-advertising/ http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2012/02/02/shazam-and-intonow-the-audio-qr-code-for-advertising/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2012 18:16:16 +0000 http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/?p=359 Tap to Tag with ShazamWhen Shazam first launched, I thought it was the coolest thing on my iPhone.  How awesome that an app could recognize a song by listening to a snippet of it playing on the radio, TV, etc and tell you what it is and who sings it.  I’ve bought a couple of songs using Shazam but honestly, I’m usually driving when I want to use it and digging out my phone, unlocking it, opening Shazam, and tapping to tag is not the safest driving practice.  When IntoNow launched I thought, cool, Shazam for TV.  Except, I already know what I’m watching so they tagging process was really just to check in and frankly, the way GetGlue shows trending shows and your favorite shows, checking in over on GetGlue seemed easier.  Plus, I like the stream you can follow of fellow viewers/fans.  I’ve long thought there is a market for an app to facilitate these impromptu conversations about an event, show, etc. outside of following hashtags on Twitter or only seeing what your friends are updating on Facebook.  For me, GetGlue wins out in the TV check-in app category over IntoNow or YapTV.

However, when Yahoo! bought IntoNow, I realized it could play a whole new role in advertising and possibly resurrect Yahoo! with a new ad revenue stream.  I’ve started to notice some Shazam bugs during TV shows but the news today shows that Shazam, and to a lesser extent IntoNow, are going big when it comes to the Superbowl and I’m thrilled.

I’ve spent years lamenting the lack of mobile integration into Superbowl ads, and the social media talking heads have bashed agencies for not going further to integrate social outside of a hashtag or Facebook page.   Now we are finally about to see both.  Shazam and IntoNow will offer a perfect way for viewers to interact with the ad using their mobile device, and get a reward with additional content, coupons, donations on their behalf, and more.

I’m not a huge fan of mobile QR codes because seem more effort than the value they deliver.  However, Shazam or IntoNow becoming what I’ll call the “Audio QR code” for advertising has many interesting implications for broadcast advertisers.  Now to see if people know what the heck to do when they see the little Shazam bug on their big screen.  I’ll be watching.

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My Tribute to Steve Jobs http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2011/10/12/my-tribute-to-steve-jobs/ http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2011/10/12/my-tribute-to-steve-jobs/#comments Wed, 12 Oct 2011 17:16:07 +0000 http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/?p=343 Five years ago, I didn’t think I could operate outside of a Windows-based world.  I bought a Palm Treo smartphone running Windows Mobile (big, big mistake), I upgraded my old Dell laptop to a Sony Vaio running Windows Vista (even bigger mistake), and I FINALLY got a new-fangled portable music player with my first iPod Video (not that I EVER used  the video part).

Today all that has changed.  My old school iPod still works and has completely changed the way I listen to music, especially in the car. In addition to the thousands of songs I burned off of my old CDs, I have purchased nearly 700 (gasp!) songs from iTunes and have created over 50 playlists (harkening back to when I was queen of the mixed tape.) My daughter barely knows anything different and started her Apple consumerism at six with an iPod Nano and my husband’s old PowerBook.

For phones, I now carry an iPhone 4.  I stood in line in July of 2008 to be one of the first to get an iPhone 3G (which my daughter now uses as her “iPod Touch”).  We also bought the iPad for our family on the first day it went on sale.  Across these devices I run over 300 apps (and that doesn’t count the ones I’ve downloaded and deleted).  Yikes, just thinking about how much I’ve spent with Apple over the last few years makes me cringe.

And one of the best decisions ever, I finally ditched that heavy, slow-as-molasses notebook for a super-thin, super-fast, MacBook Air with a long battery life and no more blue screens of death.

Have I had any problems? Yes.  Mobile.me was a complete f’ing disaster that wiped out my contacts entirely after moving to the MacBook Air and caused hours and days of headaches.  My iPhone 3G got so slow after upgrading the software too many times that it could barely send an email or make a phone call.  My new iPhone 4 crashed and I had to reset it, wiping out the hours I spent re-organizing my apps back into folders and re-registering with all of them.  The AppStore subscription policies piss me off.  Ping is completely useless.  But, does that stop me from being happy? No.  Because I don’t have to spend 20 minutes every day starting and turning off my computer.  I don’t need to restart multiple times a day.  I can do what I need to do quickly and move on with my busy life.  I can count on my products to work.  The entertainment and utility I get out of my apps enriches my daily experiences.  And, without Stack the Countries, how else would my seven year old have become so interested in the countries of Southeast Asia?

So Steve, we thank you.

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Deals Make Foursquare More Relevant http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2011/07/29/deals-make-foursquare-more-relevant/ http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/2011/07/29/deals-make-foursquare-more-relevant/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 15:34:55 +0000 http://www.redgiantconsulting.com/?p=325

After being an early Foursquare adopter, I somewhat abandoned the app about six months ago in favor of Facebook Places.  It came down to the fact that Facebook Places was easier (faster, didn’t crash, better database) and if I was letting people know where I was, that was usually information I wanted to share only with the friends and family I am connected to on Facebook.  However, some recent news out of Foursquare made me reconsider.

First, was the rumor, now confirmed, that Foursquare will be incorporating Groupon Daily Deals.  Finding local specials and deals gives Foursquare a leg up on Facebook, at least until they expand their Facebook Deals program.  The second news bit that intrigued me was that Klout was going to incorporate Foursquare into its influence ranking.  I like to think I know a thing or two about the area where I live so I would like to get that street cred through Klout and see where their Klout Perks program leads.

So I decided to give Foursquare a second chance and I have to say, I’m impressed.  First of all, the app is much improved (along with upgrading from an iPhone 3 to an iPhone 4), it is faster, with a better UI, more comprehensive database, and much more reliable.  Second, I still like the fact that I can share with other services.  If it is personal but something I want to share with friends, I’ll post to Facebook.  Professional and public, like a networking event or conference, I’ll post to Twitter.  But best of all were the deals.  (Note: as of this writing Groupon Daily Deals are not yet incorporated in my city.)

Perhaps it was because I tried it out on a recent trip to New York City, but I was overwhelmed by the number and accessibility of the specials.  In the past, to unlock the special you had to become the Mayor or some other hard-to-achieve benchmark.  Not now, at least, not what I saw.  From the time we checked into Hotel Roger Williams, we were unlocking a boatload of deals that were compelling and meaningful.

First up, my husband and I both received a free drink in the hotel bar for checking in on Foursquare.  The next day, when checking in at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we received a free reusable tote bag when spending over $25 at the museum store (that was a given since we were traveling with our seven year old.)  Later, after checking in when we arrived at the Lion King, we received 20 percent off our souvenir purchase of $20 or more (again, of course the kid gets a t-shirt).  The next day we stopped for a quick chocolate soup dumpling at Rickshaw Dumpling Bar but alas, couldn’t take advantage of their special only because we had just eaten a full meal.  Also couldn’t take advantage of the bar special at Eataly because of the timing but it felt like everywhere we went, we were unlocking special deals.  (Ok, the staff at Peter Luger probably never even heard of Foursquare but you don’t go there for a deal, that is for sure.)

Now that I’m back in Providence I’ve gotten back in the habit of checking in using Foursquare vs. Facebook.  I haven’t been surprised by any specials yet but who knows, we’ll be in town tomorrow for dinner and Waterfire.  In the meantime, I’m going to keep my eye out for Groupon Daily Deals.

By the way, little tip for when you unlock a special: Take a screenshot of the special so when you go to redeem it you don’t have to open the app and try to find the screen while waiting in a busy checkout line.

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