In my previous four blog posts, I described the four key steps of a strategic naming process that is rooted in the fundamental mission/vision of a company, and the benefits that a customer derives from a product or service.
This process has served us well in the development of several brand names. In this post, I want to review a few cases in point.
McGraw-Hill Connect: One of the most successful online learning portals on the market today. We conducted extensive immersion research into the needs, wants, and sensibilities of students and instructors. What we learned was that both of those key target audiences wanted not only a way to interact with each other virtually, but perhaps most importantly, to connect via a deeper level of engagement. Thus, the name McGraw-Hill Connect was born.
McGraw-Hill Create: An online self-publishing tool for teachers and students. Of note, Connect became the start of the strategic framework wherein all future products were named based on a verb that defined the key benefit of the brand. Hence, for the McGraw-Hill self-publishing site for both students and instructors, the name became McGraw-Hill Create.
IPC Unigy: A game-changing trading communications and applications platform for hedge funds and other financial trading firms. Unigy brings together trading professionals throughout the entire enterprise, and counterparties around the globe. The concept of a “united” organization with the “energy” to propel trading in today’s hyperkinetic and hypercompetitive markets was the genesis of this brand. The result: one of the industry’s most successful global product launches ever.
Syniverse NEXT: The next-generation messaging hub that is enabling the next wave of opportunity for mobile network operators. It, too, served as the foundation for a simple, evocative naming architecture (NEXT, PRIME, MORE).
If the connections described above between the names and their goals appear simple or even obvious, then that’s great; that’s the way they’re supposed to feel. But the path to the “obvious” answer requires process and rigor that distills the “obvious” compelling name from a multitude of possibilities, all based on what resonates with the target audience. Being a Diva of Process, I believe this is where naming excellence starts.
Our process includes what I like to call the “inside-out view”–the great expertise and insight of your internal ecosystem–and the “outside-in view.” You might call this customer co-creation because you’re using the insights, voice, and sensibilities of your customers and your market to help you come up with a killer name that will resonate with them.
To review the steps in the process, follow these links:
1. Establish a strategic framework as defined by both the company’s purpose and the company/product benefit(s).
2. Develop a clear understanding of the target audience’s sensibilities–the key to “connecting” with a name.
3. Undertake a competitive audit. What is the competition doing or not doing?
4. If working within an existing portfolio, conduct brand equity research to understand what value, if any, existing names have.