Do you always submit a description with your submissions? Most times, I’ll put in a one or two-liner. Or sometimes if I feel I’m venturing into new territory for the CH, I’ll do a paragraph. Other times I feel the name is really obvious, and the CH will either get it or not (and a description wouldn’t make any difference). What are your thoughts on the description portion of the submission?
Most of the time I will provide 1 or 2 sentences given that the CH will need to probably read over 1000 entries. The only time I don’t, is when the CH says something like: “if you have to explain it, then I’m not interested etc”. On the odd occasion, I’ve written a paragraph but more so for those intriguing or abstract requests where the CH has asked for an explanation and it’s not always obvious. Sometimes I don’t want to write anything because the name is obvious. However, I suspect we may get penalized for not submitting entries with comments.
You will not get penalized for sending a description of your entry.
I thought the opposite…that is, we may get penalised by NOT providing a description with our entry. Or else why would our points tally description say “entry WITH comments”? Just a thought. I actually have no idea.
You aren’t penalized, you just don’t earn points for submissions without descriptions (after your initial entry) unless they are rated later. IMO the need for a description varies, sometimes I don’t add one if the name has obvious meaning or the CH is open only to self-explanatory names. Or, to be honest, if I’m feeling a little discouraged I tend to write less. But if your name has a story, you should certainly share it with the CH.
I usually always include a description, especially because I need points. But, for awhile now I’ve been a little put off on even entering a description because the way it seems SH positions entries with audience testing, is that the meaning should be obvious. Our entries, if shortlisted and sent to audience testing, don’t include the description. So it makes me wonder about the importance of a description and it seems it should speak for itself. But I don’t know.
In the real world we don’t just see a name. We don’t live in a vacuum. There’s always: branding (for, logo, letterhead, etc), advertising, colors, psychology of interpretation, imagery, sense targeted things (smell, sight, hearing, touch, taste), word of mouth and/or other such things to play into our interpretation of a business/brand/etc. We don’t just see plain names anywhere. So I think descriptions are important for not only interpretation but to create branding and such because a name as a standalone unless a real word or very understandable mishmosh isn’t always going to make sense without explanation of branding stories or whatnot.
This is why I worry anymore about doing abstract names, because without a description, how is anyone going to know what it is if it’s just a bunch of black and white letters shoved together?
Thank you for such a clearly laid out though process about how the perceived value of submitted names can sometimes change, if looked at in isolation. When I submit a name, I’m thinking of all that other stuff that you lay out. So I try not to get frustrated when the CH presumably doesn’t see the same potential that I do!
When a brief lays out some major brands as examples of what they’re looking for, I really hope that the CH understands that these names are “oak trees”, and that in the context of an SH contest, we are likely submitting “acorns”. Although, in the right circumstances and with enough care and attention, they can have an “oak tree” too.
So I will likely still continue to submit a description with each entry, and hope this aligns with the CH vision.
The description is used by creatives to earn points. I am skeptical of the immediate usefulness of the description for CH.
If I was a CH and ask for a name for a Tech Company, and I receive 1573 subscriptions… what do you think I’ll do? I will scroll through the names and focus on those those hit me at a glance.
Maybe I like the name “Resilient Turtle”. What does a turtle has to do with a Tech Company? It doesn’t. But I like that name e THEN I’ll read the description.
I don’t care and don’t read the other 1572 descriptions.
That may be your interpretation but I’ve honestly had rave reviews from CHs on my descriptions and how much time and effort is evident I place into my entries. I’ve also been one to literally do two or three paragraphs worth of description on a couple entries, and the CH was floored once because of my story and how well it fit and the ONLY reason they did not choose me as a winner for that contest was because the word was based off of a foreign word and they worried people would interpret the brand as foreign.
So there are definitely CHs that read all the entries and don’t just scroll and scroll. Lol if that were the case, of what you say, then a lot of the feedback comments in the testimonials wouldn’t be given. Some may do what you say and some may do it after reaching a certain point but there are definitely ones that do read the descriptions and even try to read every one. Honestly, 1000 one to three sentence descriptions isn’t much to read, especially when you take into mind that these contest holders are here to specifically choose a name for their business/brand so they may put more time and effort in than you think.
Of course there are going to be ones that don’t and just scroll, but everyone has their own style just like we as creatives do. The descriptions isn’t just to earn points, though, and they haven’t always earned us points. I think the description, as I said earlier, is important to paint a picture as we always have a picture with brands in all the things we’re able to see and hear and such. So before a brand can come into existence in imagery, font, character, style, nuance, etc … The description plays that role. And that’s why I think a mark is being missed with audience testing and such.
Edited to add:
If imagery, thought, and idea behind a name are thought to be only secondary and if names should speak for themselves then why are logos created for premium marketplace names? Why are lifestyle images offered for some names and able to be bought for others? Why do we offer description and style of name, and feelings the name evokes, and all these other things we fill out when listing a marketplace name? Again, names aren’t just names. More often than not there is always meaning or even story behind them and their creation or even what they represent. This is why branding and advertising are things and exist. A description at the beginning of a name’s life stands in place of all the bells and whistles it would have later in it’s life for people to know or at least have opinion of what the name represents and speaks for.
At least this is my opinion and why I think descriptions can be important. It doesn’t mean that they are needed for every one but it doesn’t hurt either. The only reason I question it anymore, for me personally, and why I’ve even altered the style of my names, is because I know that as a stand-alone, some of my names sometimes without description or imagery of some kind that would otherwise be had in some way, stand no chance against other names in audience testing. The CH may know the meaning and absolutely love it, but they’re the only one that see that until a logo, website, letterhead, signing, and advertising are brought in.
Like it was said, we’re giving acorns. But the thing is, everyone gets to know what those acorns can be because they can see all the trees and know the benefits that trees bring, and the things trees offer. We don’t live in a vacuum. But, that acorn is just an acorn until it’s brought to maturity by giving it all the other things it needs to be the tree it can be.
Surely, there are CH picky, curious, and with plenty of time (is this the reason why 90% of contests I entried are pending? Mah!).
The ideas and imagination of the creatives must be tuning with those of the CH (and with the market too). The brief and comments are not enough… to really understand what CH wants, and desires, we should spend an evening together chatting and sipping a good wine … then, perhaps the name would be brilliant for both of us.