You didn’t ask for a naming project.

But somehow, you got one.

We recommend starting your naming project with a positioning statement vs. smooshing words together and throwing them at the wall.

An effective positioning statement anchors your naming project whatever it is that you want people to think of when they see or hear your brand name.

If you’re new to positioning statements, you will undoubtedly come across this needlessly bulky positioning statement template.

We recommend ignoring it – and any other templates that resemble it.

To write an effective positioning statement, pretend you’re “middle naming” a friend.

Say you have a friend named Todd Phillips.

And let’s say Todd has a habit of ’forgetting’ his wallet whenever you go out to eat.

You’ve heard Todd say “Ooops, my bad. I’ll get the next one,” so many times, you’ve taken to calling him Todd “I’ll Get the Next One” Phillips.

Middle naming dramatically simplifies the challenge of writing an effective positioning statement.

Pretend you need to name a new chain of tire stores.

Start by identifying NEWSTORE’S reason for being, aka its “key point of differentiation”.

Let’s say it’s guaranteed lowest prices.

Here’s the positioning statement:

NEWSTORE is the guaranteed-lowest-price tire store.

“Guaranteed lowest prices” is the store’s “middle name”.

It’s essential that the middle name be singular.

NO: NEWSTORE is the guaranteed lowest price and best service tire store.

YES: NEWSTORE is the guaranteed-lowest-price tire store.

Dual propositions make effective positioning impossible.

To write an effective positioning statement, think of the brand as a person, and think of the brand’s singular ‘reason for being’ (or key point of differentiation) as its middle name.

Once you’ve crafted that effective positioning statement using our middle naming technique, use the positioning statement as a lens and litmus for your naming effort.

No name should be taken into serious consideration unless it somehow maps to the positioning statement.

Name well, call us if you get stuck, and please subscribe for more helpful content from Chicago’s top naming and storytelling specialists.