Techniques for Naming Projects

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Have the team members of your project give their input on naming the project.
Have the team members of your project give their input on naming the project. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Naming a project can be critical to its internal and external success, which is why many companies and project managers spend a lot of time and effort coming up with the perfect title. Increase naming and branding skills with these simple and creative suggestions that may be helpful for the entire team.

Suggestion Circle

The best names are the memorably simple ones -- think of Apple or Google. Don't complicate the naming process by overanalyzing it. One effective technique to get the entire team involved is to have the group stand in a circle and go around offering impromptu ideas. This exercise prevents anyone from overthinking and allows team members to get the ball rolling in the naming process. This method is also a good way to learn if the team is on the same page regarding the project.

Online Generator

For those in a time crunch, there are plenty of online resources and websites that will help find a palatable project or company name, using random algorithms or data. Some examples of project name generators are Online-Generator.com, which is free, and Zen Namer, which offers a free trial. Both sites offer combinations of popular key words and phrases. Even if you don't end up using one of the given names, you can use these generators to brainstorm possible ideas and get those creative juices flowing.

Word Mix

Have your team write down as many words as they can that describe the project. They can even include pictures, phrases, ideas or fragments. The project leader should have a white board and pen handy to write down the top three ideas from each team member. Discuss which titles or combinations of ideas are the most memorable or are especially engaging. Select five to 10 of the best titles, and have team members vote on the final title choice.

Taglines

An important part of naming a project or product is its tagline. Before you come up with a project title, come up with a corresponding tagline. It may be easier to figure out the title based on the message of the tagline. When coming up with taglines, consider what message you want to send to the audience -- for example, emotive, aspirational or serious. The title should share the same tone.

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