Once upon a time we called every fundraising product ‘athon’. Spellathon. Danceathon. Aerobathon. Easy world then, but now naming a product of activity can make or break its success, especially in the emerging and strong world of Community Fundraising. As you review and refresh your strategy, product development often emerges as a key theme. So here are some steps and tips to help you go through the process to name your product, and some links that might help.
Firstly, it may be worth investing in a creative agency. Getting a product named so it sits comfortably in the marketing and promotional push can save a lot of time and help get the cut through you need. The key is in the brief, so whether you have an agency or not, or you are briefing a comms team or are going to do this in-house, consider the same process that you might take in hiring an external. Get a great brief together. Its a good discipline whatever size organisation you are in. Creating the brief sets the ground rules and criteria, captures and clarifies your thinking, articulates clearly to others and you can hold everyone to the brief. So either way, start here with this suggested content in your brief
- Purpose – what is the purpose, the point, the why. Define this up front and keep it simple
- Promise – what are you promising to deliver, the experience, the value
- Pain or problem – what gap, pain or problem are you planning to solve or address
- Concept – define your product or event. A single sentence stating what it is. This is the key sentence.
- Unique – what makes this
- Impact – what will you do with the money? what difference or impact will you make with the money you raise? This is closely linked to purpose
- Goal – slightly different. A specific aim or goal you are aiming for.
- Target – raise x by y by z, any KPI’s – a few good ones are much better than lots of average and not helpful
- Audience – who is this aimed for and where are they. What do they like and what don’t they like?
- Market – Who is doing what in the same territory or product area?
Here are some tips for a product naming process. Firstly, the product needs to get as close as possible with naming what it is. Don’t be too clever or intellectual, with a name that you get because of the work that you do, but your audience wont have a clue. Make it easy to say and write. Keep it simple. Its ok to have a strap line to do the explaining – this will be critical in messaging anyway, so use it. Brandwatch have a very effective and to the point blog with 5 golden rules to name a product, so check this out at How to Name a Product: 5 Golden Rules we follow. There are some great articles on creating brand or product names – Try Big Brand System, for a great article on the process. Wordoid is website to generate names where you select key words and it will generate ideas.
So now the process to create:
- Get together a great gang….mix it up with a small session of creative types and those who aren’t as obviously creative! It’s a great way to break down silos and drive up engagement so get a room with the right mix of people first and role second. Get brand involved but its your show and product for your audience.
- Brief the room with a quick overview especially purpose and concept. Write it on a flip chart and stick it on the wall
- Use key words and dimensions to the concept and purpose. Don’t forget imagery, video and other stimuli. Generate lots of these. Focus on these first as they are your initial ingredients. When, where, how, who, what, everything about and around
- Consider other creation processes – 6.3.5 model – this has a table of 6 people, who each write 3 ideas and then move them around the table 5 times so people can add. There is a lot of evidence now in giving people time on their own to think, so consider sending a short explainer before and asking people to think about it and bring it to the session. Maybe start with a quiet personal 10 mins, everyone writes their own ideas with no discussion first.
- Then cluster key words and phrases that cluster around areas or themes
- Use a thesaurus to find new versions of key words, and synonyms
- A name creation brainstorm – follow these brainstorm rules from Forbes
- Don’ lose anything or close down at this stage!! Keep going!!
- At some point stop, and review. When you start to get some frontrunners emerge get some rational sense of certain one and check these against the criteria and the list above
- Then walk away and let the left brain process and then revisit and test on a few people the frontrunners. It’s wise to do this – get the initial view, check out domain names and any copyrights, any clashes, but emerging names will feel right then can be validated. Don’t seek everyone’s approval though….do enough to get a good view then decide and deliver
Follow these tips and you’ll create a great product name and deliver a great campaign. If you want to go further and review and refresh your Community Fundraising strategy, join in with my free webinar How to review and refresh you Community Fundraising strategy on August 18th at 12pm GMT. To register click here
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