How to write a brand naming brief: Your essential guide

Naming Brief

Learning how to write a brand naming brief is an important first step in coming up with an excellent business name. Whether you’re working with an expert naming company, or you’re leveraging the creativity of your own team, you need a brief to guide the process.

A naming brief helps you to identify exactly what you want to accomplish with your business name straight away, so you can explore ideas with a degree of focus.

A good brief will also prevent your creative professionals from wasting time on the wrong kind of title for your business. For instance, you can define whether you want an invented or descriptive name immediately.

Used correctly, your naming brief will outline the key characteristics of your business, your competition, and even your target audience, to guide you through your creative journey.

Here’s what you need to know about producing your own native brief…

What is a naming brief? The basics

The first step in learning how to write a naming brief, is understanding what this document actually contains. A creative naming brief is essentially a document designed to guide the people in your team – or the agencies you’re working with – towards the right title for your business.

After all, choosing a memorable name can be a complex process. You need to define what you want your name to convey, how you’re going to differentiate from other brands, and even what style of name you’re looking for.

A naming brief creates the guidelines your experts need to improve your chances of getting the right results, quickly.

While the exact contents of a naming brief can differ depending on your goals or the naming agency you work with, most solutions will include details on:

  • The type of business you’re running.
  • The products or services you have to offer.
  • The emotional impact you want to have on customers.
  • Your target audience and competitors.
  • The values, tone and personality of the brand.
  • The rules you want to follow with your name.
  • Inspiration on names your business likes.

Why is a brand naming brief important?

You may be wondering why you need a naming brief in the first place. While some companies assume it’s easier to just dive in and start brainstorming immediately, this is rarely the case.

It’s easy to stumble into a number of mistakes with your business name if you’re not careful. A brand naming brief can help to reduce your risk of issues.

Writing a naming brief either for your own team or the agency you’re going to work with will help to guide your professionals towards the right title faster. It forms a set of guidelines experts can follow to ensure you’re not wasting time on the wrong monikers, and give your name the right impact.

Naming Brief

How do you write a good naming brief? 3 key steps

The business naming brief you create can differ based on a number of factors. If you’re working with a professional naming agency, they may have a form you can fill out with all the vital information they require to choose the right name.

This prevents you from needing to create a brief from scratch.

However, if your agency doesn’t have a form available, or you’re creating a naming brief for your internal team, it helps to get started with the following 3 steps.

Step 1: Define your company

The best brand names help to identify a business, its values, and what makes the organization different from the competition. As such, your naming brief needs to provide useful information into the kind of company you’re going to run.

Rather than just offering information on what your business does, or what you sell, focus on how you want to make your customers feel about your brand. Consider the emotional impact you want to develop with your name, and what sort of personality you need to convey.

Think about the kind of atmosphere you’re trying to create, and highlight your brand essence.

Step 2: Do your research

Better brands names depend on extensive research. Your naming agency or team will need plenty of information to help them choose the right name.

For instance, you’ll need a comprehensive set of user personas to help your team understand the kind of customers you’re trying to reach with your chosen name. A clear view of your customers demographics or background will be very useful to your team.

Aside from researching your target audience, you should also dedicate some time to evaluating the competition and the kind of names similar companies are using. This will help as a source of inspiration, as well as ensuring you know how to differentiate your company.

Step 3: Know how you’ll define a great name

Before you start your naming brief, it’s worth thinking about how you’ll decide whether a specific title is right for your business. Coming up with a clear project statement can be helpful for this purpose.

You might, for instance, start your naming brief with the phrase: “We need a fresh, creative and invented name to capture our key values of connectivity and value.”

Identifying exactly what you want to accomplish with your name straight away should ensure you know how to evaluate the titles your team or agency presents.

Naming Brief

Crucial points to include in a business naming brief

As mentioned above, one of the factors which makes learning how to write a naming brief complicated, is there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to getting the job done. Many agencies and brand naming studios have their own preferred formats for briefs which you’ll need to follow.

If you’re creating your naming brief from scratch, you’ll need to think carefully about the information your experts are going to need to choose the right name.

Some of the key points to include in your brand naming brief are:

Company description

A clear description of your company, what it does, and the products or services you offer will be critical to choosing the right name. Make sure your company or agency understands what kind of business you’re building.

Emotional impact 

What kind of ideas and emotions do you want to convey through your name? Are there specific values you want to capture within your name? How should the title make your customers feel when they see or hear it?

Naming criteria

Basic naming criteria for a naming brief can include information about the type of name you want to choose and what it should include. You may have specific words you want to use for SEO purposes, or you may prefer a descriptive name to an invented or made-up word.


Related to your brand personality, your name tonality is a reference to the kind of impact your name has. For example, the name “Google” is fun and playful, but it also has a link to the mathematics world, making it ideal for a technology brand.

Audience personas 

As mentioned above, your name should connect directly to a specific audience on an emotional level. To ensure you’re using the right terms and phrases, you’ll need a clear view of your target audience and their characteristics.

Competitor names 

Insights into competitor names make it easier to see what sort of titles are already working in your industry. The right list of competitor names can also help you to ensure you choose something unique for your brand.

Other factors to include in a naming brief

Depending on your naming project, you may want to include additional information in your naming brief.

It’s helpful to include:

  • Previously considered and rejected names.
  • Names in your industry your brand leaders like or dislike.
  • Domain name requirements (do you need a .com domain?).
  • Words, and concepts to prioritize or avoid.
  • Brand strategy documentation, like a brand mission or positioning statement.
  • Trademark screening criteria for due diligence research.
  • Additional materials or links for inspiration.
Naming Brief

How do you present a naming brief?

Once you know how to write a naming brief, the next step is figuring out how to present your guidelines to your company, or the agency responsible for your naming project. Once again, different companies can approach this process in unique ways.

However, it often helps to follow these steps:

Start with an overview

Begin your naming brief presentation with a concept statement highlighting what you want to accomplish with your name. Outline the goals of the project, and the background of the business in a way that helps the naming professionals understand what your organization stands for.

Share vital brand information

Sharing vital insights into your brand is crucial for a strong company naming brief. The more information you can provide about your brand values, mission statement, promise, and personality, the easier it will be to choose a name which sends the right message to your target audience.

Cover competitors and customer research 

Next, provide an insight into the competing companies in your industry and the names they’ve chosen. What do you like and dislike about these names? Offer an overview into your target audience, their preferences, and their unique characteristics too.

Deliver inspiration

While you might not have a clear idea of the name you want to create yet; you may have some basic ideas of what titles you actually like. Sharing insights into the kind of names you think might work well for your company can be very useful.

Ask for questions

Finally, make sure your experts are clear on your naming brief by allowing them to ask questions. Giving your team members the freedom to inquire about topics further, like what kind of name you want, or don’t want, will help to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Writing a successful company naming brief

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for learning how to write a naming brief. The best documents will help to guide your employees, consultants or naming agency through the process of naming your business as efficiently as possible, with all the information they need to make the right decisions.

However, the exact information you cover in your naming brief and the way you present your guidelines to your team can vary. If you’re struggling to produce the ideal brief, you could always ask any agencies you’re working with for insights into the kind of information they need.

Fabrik: A naming agency for our times.

We’ve made our name famous by naming other businesses.

Get in touch if you have a company, product, or service that requires a unique name. Click below, and let’s start a conversation today!

Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey
Our co-founder, Steve Harvey, is also a regular contributor to Brand Fabrik, a flagship publication covering topics relevant to anyone in branding, marketing and graphic design. Steve shares his enthusiasm for brand naming through his articles and demonstrates his knowledge and expertise in the naming process.

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