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“The most revered brands of tomorrow will be the ones that embrace and embody strategic valor, creativity and imagination, today.”

With more than 15 years’ experience in both agency and client environments, Scott Hauman helps companies transform their brands to take advantage of what lies ahead through the seamless integration of strategy, design, media, marketing and research.

Scott is founder of The Naming Coterie, LinkedIn’s first global professional group dedicated to the craft of brand naming and is a board member of Eastern Michigan University’s Integrated Marketing Communication program. He is also a featured speaker and member of Ann Arbor Spark’s Marketing Roundtable.

Scott is Chief Strategy Officer and Founding Partner in NewFoundry. NewFoundry is an idea manufacturing company that fuses application design, user experience, and brand development expertise to create next generation market opportunities, products, and services. Their founders have brought their industry experience and insight together to provide their clients with an exceptional range and depth of services – rapid prototyping, product design, brand development, naming, application development, software engineering, responsive web design and more.


BusinessInterviews.com: What’s a recent example of how you were able to generate a high-impact, innovative concept that helped steer an entrepreneur towards success?

Scott: Many of our engagements start at the brand discovery phase. This naturally uncovers new opportunities and paths for our clients to consider. Clients come into our studio trying to tackle and solve a particular marketplace challenge. We help them see a bigger picture, distill critical strategies and propose ways to get them to version 1.0 as quick as possible. This approach leads entrepreneurs to see more rewarding, efficient alternative go-to-market paths that were not in sight before they came to us. For example, we recently helped an idea owner shape a new mobile application experience for a niche target audience that she had not considered. This simple pivot fostered a winning positioning strategy, allowing her to enter a less-cluttered marketplace than what she had initially mapped out.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk a bit about the craft behind brand naming? What tips would you pass onto a startup in the process of seeking a name and developing their brand identity?

Scott: In my opinion, naming is the most important strategic task an idea owner can tackle. Naming is the cornerstone for any brand conversation in a marketplace. Here are my 8 do’s and don’ts when it comes to naming:

1. Consider the long-term strategy for the name you’re developing and how the new brand name will fit into your company’s brand architecture and brand portfolio systems.
2. Consider the real fixed and potential costs involved in creating, registering and defending a new name.
3. Keep an open mind and generate a lot of options, hundreds if possible.
4. Set up a defined criterion as to how names will be judged in the process and stick to it.
5. Take the time to conduct native speaker linguistic checks.
6. Seek out and use one of the many specialized naming consultancies and trademark attorneys to help navigate the numerous pitfalls associated with the naming process
7. Communicate how the name fits into the overall strategy for the business.
8. Allocate the proper amount of time and resources to adequately communicate your new brand name to your intended target audiences.

1. Fall in love with any specific name early in the process.
2. Have too many people involved in the name selection process
3. Have the conversation again. Once the name has been selected do not communicate what the second choice or other options on the list were.
4. Short cut the process, sooner or later shortcuts will comeback to haunt you and could be potentially expensive and embarrassing to your company.
5. Rule out an alternate domain name if the one you’re after is already taken. If another company already has possession of a domain name in which you’re interested, consider creating an alternate version.
6. Rush the process. Naming done well and on a multi-country or global scale takes time.
7. Ask your spouse or close friends for their opinion.
8. Expect to gain 100% consensus from your decision-making team. Select the name that fits your criteria the best.

BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to someone with a great idea who is in need of a commercialization strategy to ensure that their product gets to market?

Scott: Seek out IP/Trademark counsel right out of the gate – they will be invaluable to you through the idea lifecyle. They will also be able to recommend other support resources to help you take flight such as, manufacturing partners, creative consultants and other business planning professionals.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you explain how the longevity of NewFoundry’s vision is one of its greatest strengths?

Scott: We are dedicated to rapid brand prototyping. This core offering is applicable to every stage of business, from start-ups to second-stage businesses and recently-merged organizations to multi-national corporations. Our brand’s purpose is to help idea owners realize and activate their dreams – whether that idea owner is a solo-entrepreneur or a mid-level R&D Manager at a large company, our strength is really a passion to assist and be a catalyst, and our passion is the fuel for a long term vision.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some trends in your industry that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?

Scott: Folks from all walks of life are becoming entrepreneurs and today’s marketplace is being driven by ideas and innovations. There is great momentum in our space. I see a trend of more collaborative, cross-industry collaborations and co-branding, which in turn, will spark new platforms and technologies. I also see a sense of regionalism and partnership that is bringing together new ecosystems of professionals for the greater good.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share some of your top tips for ensuring that a launch is successful as possible?

• Develop a strong brand case and stance for your idea. Successful brands today realize that building an army of fans that believe in your cause/mission/claim is really what will carry a brand forward at launch and beyond.
• Engage with potential users/customer as early as possible – crowd-source and co-shape your brand when/where it is appropriate – and share your results to the world! Remember, being in “beta” is the norm today.
• Be creative with your launch ideas. Don’t follow a formula. Attempt to demonstrate your brand stance in unexpected ways – you will catch the right kind of attention for your efforts.
• Don’t be a brand for all. A brand for all is a brand for none. Zero-in on your ultimate customer profile and strive to delight them right out of the gate. It is all about being transparent and authentic.

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