"Namist" Breathe New Life into Brand
the post reporter
“If copywriters were considered novelists, we could say we are poets," she said. It is very difficult to select proper words that can express a poet's feeling Selecting exact words for a brand name is difficult, too. "Namists" are those who give brand names to new products or services. These days, unique and novel brand names are getting more important in marketing. For that reason, namist is becoming a promising job. The Post interviewed Yu Jieun, a namist for Brand Major (one of famous brand naming companies).
The Post : What do you do as a namist?
Yu: Most people think that we just make brand names for new products. But we also make company slogans, provide our clients with information about how to improve their image and present guidelines on brand communication. For these reasons, we are more of a "brand consultant."
The Post : Tell us about the process of naming a new product.
Yu: The process of naming is divided into two parts, a verbal part and a design part. Let me explain the verbal part, first. When clients request a name for a new product, we analyze the characteristics of the new product by researching its development background, other competitive products and the latest market trends. Then we decided which market the new product fits into. Based on our research, we set verbal strategies and make around 2000 drafts of a brand name by using all sorts of dictionaries and magazines. We also check that our new brand name is original and, therefore, can be used legally. Then we select final 20 names to present to our clients. The clients select just one for their product. Now the project enters the design part. After we have a design, we set the limit of application. It takes an average of four to eight weeks to make one "brand."
The Post : What is most difficult about your work?
Yu: We deal with various products. So our job doesn't have a fixed pattern. We have to research each new product. It is very stressful. But each new product gives us various experiences. I think dealing with diverse products has both merits and demerits.
The Post : What is your most crucial points to consider?
Yu: We have two cardinal rules. The first is understanding consumer's minds by considering brand communication between a company and consumers. We focus on easier and familiar brand communication. The other rule is to always use creative thinking. For example, consumers may consider our creative and unique brand name as a little strange at the beginning, but we do not change the name. If we change the name to satisfy consumers, we would lose our creativity. It is a risk we have to take. But no risk, no success!
The Post : What is your most rewarding experience?
Yu: It is most rewarding whenever a brand name we created is out in the market. Each and every brand name requires hard work; so all the names we create are valuable to us. For example, we gave a name to a search engine last year. We called it "1 noon" (Chut noon). It means both "first snow" and "at first sight" in Korean. This brand name says that this search engine is fresh and will help you find what you want at first sight. After naming the search engine, "1 noon", it was merged successfully with "Naver." The president of this search engine company attributed their successful M&A (Merger and Acquisition) to the name. He expressed his gratitude to us. I was so happy.
The Post : What do you think makes a good name?
Yu: Many people say that a good name is short and easy to pronounce. But I think there is no standard for good naming. Every popular brand name differs from each name on getting own popularity. Recently, appealing and storytelling brand names are getting more popular. So a "pet name" comes into the spotlight. For example, SamSung TV has two names "PAVV" the pet name "Bordeaux." "Bordeaux" is the name of a french wine region. Because it gives the image of luxury goods, SamSung could improve PAVV's image by using the pet name "Bordeaux." This pet name is more familiar than PAVV to consumers and suggests a classy image. A pet name can improve the image of a brand name.
The Post : What should I do to become a brand namist?
Yu: I think that one's major is not important to be a brand namist. But we need linguistic ability. We have to understand and catch the nuance of words. We also should be very creative and curious. Wide experience also helps brand namists to look at a new product from various angles.
The Post : Is band namist a promising job?
Yu: Yes. Brand namist is a promising job. Nowadays, there is no more product differentiation in the market. To survive in the market, a product must enhance its brand value. And product life cycles are getting shorter. So a lot of brand-new products will be produced faster, and they will need brand names. For these reasons, brand namists are needed to promote a new product. Also, brand naming is both technical and creative; it requires a special talent.
The Post : Do you have any advice for students who want to be a brand namist?
Yu: wide experience helps a lot. You can get it through travel, part-time jobs, club activities and so on. Have a diverse range of interests. All brand namists have it, which helps them to produce names for many kinds of new products. It can help you to take part in contests related to naming such as ad contests. It also can help you to take part in the brand-naming education programs that are offered by Hankyorye newspaper and Branding Korea.
Kim Na-eun Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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