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3 Tips for Trademark Creation Brainstorming

Are you in the midst of forming a creative team for an internal creative process?

Well, there are certainly plenty of pros and cons of forming a creative team when it comes to creating trademarks for your private label products, services, courses, or even the name of a podcast!

Nailing down a viable and strong trademark for a new product in the early stages of product sourcing and or development is ideal, because it's the optimal time to choose a trademark that is both marketable (from a brand value perspective) and protectable (from a legal perspective).

Setting up a creative team for your brand name selection endeavor is helpful, but by no means required. In fact, I think some people put too much emphasis on forming a creative team for so-called creative brainstorming events. 

There are certainly some pitfalls when forming a creative team. So watch out! 

In fact, there are some real advantages to being your own creative team. The best creative team might be comprised of: YOU! So, think long and hard about whether a creative team will work best for you. 

If you don’t love the naming process the first time you do it with a creative team, try it alone with the next round if needed. And vice versa. There is no right or wrong way. It’s all about finding out what works best for your business, your brand, you

As an introvert, I see a lot of benefits to being a one-man show. If, for any reason, you don't think you can put together a creative team, don't worry. 

I'm going to provide guidance on working with a creative team, as well as how to go this alone, and still create a totally amazing trademark either way.

If you do want to form a creative team to help you in the brand name creation process, ask yourself a couple of questions: 

Who has the creative fire, and knowledge about the brand,  to help you with your initial brainstorming process?

Is it your employees, partners, vendors, suppliers, family, beer-drinking buddies, or a combination of the foregoing?

You might also want to consider your current most loyal customers, if you've been around long enough to establish that base and you're rolling out maybe a second or third brand name. {This idea probably won't work if you're just starting out.}

If you are putting together a creative team, whether it's two or ten people, or you alone, identify the creative resources you will utilize. For example, you might want to rent a party room somewhere, or even use a table at your favorite bar and treat everyone to beer and pizza.  

You may have more resources than you realize to brainstorm internally.

Avoid uninspired surroundings.

Of course, if you're unhappy with the first results of a creative team brainstorm session, you may be forced to pivot in some way. You can set up a different creative team: again, try to go it alone. 

My hope is that you'll get faster and faster with future brand name rollouts, as you ultimately learn what works, and what doesn't. You’ll learn if you are able to surround yourself with a great, go-to creative team, or if it makes more sense for you to roll solo.

Learning this information will save you from future hangups, and the process will get even smoother. 

Of course, a lot of of this depends on your own internal processes and availability ~ or lack thereof ~ of creative people and beer-drinking buddies.

Beware,  I have seen too many companies outsource to so-called "professionals" on the creative side, paying thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars, and then, end up with trademarks that end up getting challenged on the legal for any number of reasons. So watch out for this trap.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from outsourcing the creative element. In fact, I can assist you with the creative process as well. However, I think you need to proceed with caution and understand the possible downsides if you do outsource. 

Remember, most outsourced creatives are developing a brand name from a creative perspective, and cannot necessarily help you from a legal perspective or help you watch out for legal traps. Beware!

I also don't want you to think a creative team or focused groups are required. They are NOT.  {Creative “teams” and focus groups are NOT necessary!}

"Focus Groups"

I particularly want to caution you against "focus groups." Focus groups are not supposed to make decisions for you.  

While there are a lot of good reasons to utilize focus groups, trademark creation is not necessarily one of them. You can't "focus group" names generally because creativity is hard to test, and even harder to quantify.

Plus, focus groups might not be familiar with your brand. Keep this in mind.

You cannot use scientific analysis to find great art. And, analogously, that's what you are doing when you utilize a focus group in brand name creation!

Another problem with focus groups is that participants would be asked about possible brand names devoid of context. Participants need to know the big picture. Because, remember, brand names are living vessels that collect all of the interactions, experience, and news for your brand. 

Attempting to isolate the name as a variable is unnatural and foreign. 

It's very similar to selecting a name for your new baby. You're bound to get looks of disapproval from the in-laws no matter what, "Don't you think you should maybe consider a...familyyyy name....?"

Again, when it comes to trademark creation, focus groups are discouraged, and creative teams are totally optional….

And, you should consider if a creative "team" makes sense for your naming project.

But, do not get discouraged if you cannot get a team together. 

Be ready willing and able to roll solo. 

Remember, the answers to pretty much everything are usually found within.

Ready to work with me on brand name creation, protection and enforcement? Do you need help with legal compliance for your private label business? I'm here to help you! Apply today!

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