A Brand Naming Story

Naming a new product in one week


eBay came to us with an urgent need to generate names for a new product to go into quantitative research that had already been scheduled and booked. We were briefed on the Friday evening and the deadline we had was one week – start the clock!

We first agreed the objectives, the criteria for success and the different springboards with eBay to ensure that our name generation would be on track and relevant. We then began a series of rolling brainstorms – run by 3 moderators in different locations, with different nationalities. As the final name had to be translated into other languages and there wasn’t any time for a linguistic check, it was important that we recruited different nationalities in the brainstorm stage to help reduce the use of wordplay which would only work for English speakers.

The NameGen™ brainstorms were held with creative people and facilitated using linear and lateral exercises and stimulus to encourage innovative thinking. This methodology produces approximately 100-150 names per one hour brainstorm so it is important that we analyse and vote on the ‘top names’ ensuring we keep the criteria for success and our target consumer in mind.

We usually recommend that naming workshops are held with the client present, but when this is not possible, we ensure that they are given an opportunity to input. Halfway through the week, we therefore sent the first round of top names to eBay to give them a chance to collaborate on the direction we were going in and the names being generated. We received structured feedback and were able to use this guidance to dismiss names and naming groups, develop new springboards and prioritise ideas.

Based on this feedback, we were then able to conduct 2 more mini-brainstorms to generate additional names and give a fresh perspective to the problem.


We provided eBay with a long list of names as required, but broken out into relevant groups for ease of understanding and consideration. We also provided a Top Name Recommended list with a rationale for our thinking... Stop the clock!

As a result of the project, eBay were able to easily evaluate the names and put their top 5 into the quantitative research on schedule. They have now chosen the most relevant name for their new product which will be appearing on their website.