Springboards and nets
Generating name ideas is all about associations. It’s about finding as many related but unexpected directions you can take yourself off in to explore. I start with the words in the brief, taking a good look into the obvious synonyms and themes that a quick Google search might bring up. Obviously, you need a great thesaurus and you can find word lists for any given topic by diving into those specific areas online. But beyond that, it’s worth shaking things up and trying other resources — anything and everything to spark new ideas and reveal new tangents. Stepping outside of language altogether can also be helpful. I’ll often use stock image libraries to refresh my thinking, looking at what insights images can evoke that words alone cannot.
Everyone has a different approach to generating ideas: some like to write lists by hand, some use index cards or post-it notes, some go it alone while others get together in ‘group brainstorming sessions’. In my experience, group brainstorming is ineffective. It’s great to bounce ideas off one another within a team, but you need to generate your initial thoughts and ideas independently. There is a lot of recent research and writing on the importance of rethinking the ‘brainstorm’. This piece from the HBR supports the idea.
“A meta-analytic review of over 800 teams indicated that individuals are more likely to generate a higher number of original ideas when they don’t interact with others.”Continue reading