INTERESTED IN a new, exciting job? How about "Namists"? A Namist is a person
who makes brand names for new products. Namists also provide a consulting
service for the products named. With only a history of ten years, Namist is
predicted to be a promising job of the 21st century. For this month's Guideline,
The Yonsei Annals interviewed Namists, Kim So-rin of Meta Branding Inc., Hwang
Ji-hyun of Brandmajor (two famous brand naming companies) and freelancer Kim
The process of naming a product
A project starts with research ranging from everything such as
the history to the functions. In the actual naming process, Namists figure out
the images that the products project. Also they calculate the latest market
trends and research the other competitive products. Based on these facts the
Namists produce around 200 names for each product. Kim So-rin says, "In our
company, our Namist team makes around 200 to 300 names per project. After many
conferences we select the final 12 to show our clients."
Namists have to make sure that their brands are completely brand new. A small
similarity with a brand already out in the market means that the idea cannot be
Although it differs from each project, it takes an
average of four to six weeks to produce one brand.
Biggest difficulties when working
Difficulties differ among Namists. Hwang Ji-hyun says, "The
biggest difficulty when working is wondering about the customer's response."
For some, the naming process is quite fun and simple. "For me,
naming is quite easy. What I find the most difficult is checking that the names
are not already out there among the 6,000,000 brands currently on the Korean
market. Checking all those brands is rather tedious," states Kim So-rin.
Most rewarding times
For Namists, the work is most rewarding when the product that
they named is a big hit. Hwang Ji-hyun says, "It is very exciting to hear people
on the streets talk about the brands I named." Kim Hong-yul talks about the time
when the hospital he named was introduced on television. "After being introduced
on television it became extremely famous. I could not help thinking that the
brand name I made performed the role in making the hospital well-known."
The procedure of becoming a Namist
There are various ways of becoming a Namist. In Meta Branding
Inc. for example, Namists-to-be are selected on a regular basis. Once accepted,
these people go through many education programs which have to be successfully
completed. For those who want to prepare beforehand, there is a graduate school
for brand naming at Kyunghee Univ. There are also many brand naming education
services. Joongang Ilbo and The Hankyorye newspaper provides brand naming
education programs. Although these education programs are not a requirement for
applying at brand naming companies, they may be helpful when working on a
project later on.
There are no particular regulations or
restrictions on becoming a Namist. As it is a job where many creative ideas are
required, a graduation certificate from a prestigious university is not
considered of great importance. Instead fluency in foreign languages, especially
English, is a requisite. Also, a considerable depth of general knowledge can
become very useful as well as the ability to think creatively.
Advice for students interested in becoming a Namist
Kim Hong-yul has unique advice. "Read many poems. Poems increase
sensitivity required when naming products." Kim So-rin states, "Use your
university years wisely. It does not matter what you do, volunteer, work,
travel; the main point is that as a Namist, all these experiences will
help." A Namist is a job with good future prospects. It is important to
think on a broad range and in many different directions.