Tasty food for thought from fellow naming consultant Tate Linden over at Thingnamer. He takes a swipe at competitive research ("Competitive research for inspirational purposes leads to names similar to what already exists in the market"), and adds:
By limiting yourself to what you can see in your immediate industry (and can easily relate to what you do) you limit your options for how you describe your business. You’re either naming to be like or unlike your peers.
What's the alternative? Tate calls it "forcing my mind to jump the tracks"--exploring the potential of random associations, looking outside predictable pigeonholes. As an example, he points us to "Six Drummers," an imaginative ten-minute video from Sweden that shows what happens when you throw away the rules. If you've ever seen the percussive performance group Stomp, you'll recognize "Six Drummers" as a domesticated version of the same breed.
I'll post more--a lot more--about naming skills in tomorrow's post.