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Enter the World of "Namists"
Kong Hyon-bin Reporter  |  hbkong@annals.yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2004.09.01  00:00:00
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

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 Hong-yul.

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 used.
   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.

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