How to be a copywriter

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Copy, a Client, his Product and its Naming

The following article was kindly supplied by Collective Copywriter Daniela Ferrando.

Ok, the title of this post sounds kind of next Peter Greenaway’s movie. But I’ll be less symbolic.
As a copywriter – I am Italian and mainly work in my native language, plus I transcreate from English – when I’m asked to produce product naming proposals, I love it.

You know the steps: meeting/calling/skyping (for a briefing), brainstorming, creating, comparing, researching, writing, shortlisting, checking domain/patent availability, and… presenting to the client? Presenting what?

A detailed document commenting every proposal for the client to check it and rationally choose, feeling super-supported and advised?

A maieutic document, i.e. a pertinent list of proposals with minimal comment, e.g. just some etymology, for the client to enjoy and to share the pleasure of rediscovering his own product?
A bare list for the client to make his marketing decision without feeling influenced?

I happened to prepare last week a very commented and detailed set of product naming proposals.
I did so because the client wasn’t Italian, but wanted an Italian professional to work on his product.
I thought I had to make him sure about the meaning, the tone, the scope, the etymology, the nature of my proposals, and maybe also about my favourite names – which I normally hide in a note, preferably a final, fine printed note.
This is my usual approach.
Well, it was too much to him.
When I adjusted my proposals after a first feedback, I cut most of the comments away and just grouped my naming proposals by concept. It worked.
By the way, he told me he had already received a bare list for a parallele part of his product naming project from another copywriter. A bare list to enjoy.

Once more, I learnt how many modulations exist under a simple and usual request for a copywriter.
What do YOU produce and present when you work on product naming?

Daniela Ferrando - Milan, Italy

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