This post is the third in a series of posts on our naming process. We started with explaining the great work our Brand Committee had done since June, and then announced the process to come to a name by January 12.
Over the last 6 months, we’ve engaged the entire community to find a name that truly encompasses the creativity, curiosity and vibrancy of our group. From July to December, we polled the community to establish core values, conducted brainstorms across the globe (phone calls, dinners, workshops, diagrams), and worked to narrow down our brand narrative, before entering the final phase of the process to vote on our name.
From December 15-24, community members submitted 72 names on the Creads platform. The Creads exercise became the converging point in the ideation process. As the board announced on December 15, we asked every member of the Branding Committee to each select three names they would choose, and highlight why those names resonated with them. We also asked community members to email us their recommendations so everyone had a chance for input at this integral stage.
Having established a strong foundation for the community to rally around values and a name, we enlisted the experience and knowledge of the group’s brand experts to not only shortlist the names, but more importantly construct brief narratives that would evoke our unique story as a community.
From all of this input, a focused group of brand specialists – those within our family who have made a career out of creating brands, namely Saga, Thierry, Eoin, Steve, Robert and Melissa, led by Aisha and myself (Radha) – shortlisted 3 names, which we are now putting forward to the community for a final vote.
What was the criteria?
The criteria we put forward to the Branding committee for their suggestions was the same we followed in short listing 3 names:
- Ownable. Our new name has to be ours, and truly ours. It cannot be something that has been used over and over again, or is known throughout the world for another organization, product, movement, or community.
- Aligned with our brand narrative. This community is unique and our new name has to have a story that reflects our values and identity.
- Culturally and geographically non-specific
- Longevity. We want a name that will be timeless, reflect our ever-growing community and have relevance in the future.
Defining our narrative
In addition, from the list of names on Creads, Sagarika Sundaram (one of our brand experts) noticed patterns bubbling up in the long list of names. What we are hearing is that there are three traits, as a community, that we want our name to capture.
- Warm: We are a family of friends. Our generosity towards each other defines who we are as a group.
eg. caravan, canopy, XO
- Weighty: We are a community of exceptional people, and we need a name that acknowledges our expertise and our specialness. We deserve gravitas and credibility.
eg. nautilus, constellation, one/thousand
- Edgy: We are pioneers. We push our work to the edge of possibility. Our lifestyles match our mindsets – we invent our own rules for living.
eg., tribe, wayfare, HQ
It’s worth pointing out that if we look for one name to capture all three sentiments, we risk becoming all things to all people. If we want to present ourselves to the world with a clear and strong voice, we need to lead with one trait, and capture the other two through supporting brand elements, such as tone-of-voice, imagery, identity, etc.
Keeping this in mind, the brand team has selected one name that stands for each trait. Your job is to select one. In selecting a name, you are implicitly selecting the trait that you think is most important to present to the world, as a community.
The 3 shortlisted names
Here they are in alphabetical order:
Note: please reach out to the board if you don’t get a voting link in your email.
Now, it’s up to you! You have until January 13 to vote the three names. By picking one name, you are implicitly picking the trait you think our name should lead with. The selected name will be used to drive the brand narrative and other communication assets. We’ll then highlight the two other traits through supporting brand elements like graphics and tone-of-voice.
On January 14, we’ll tally the votes and announce our new name 🙂
One caveat: in the event that a certain name is not available for legal or other practical reasons such as negative brand association, we’ll work with the Branding Committee to suggest an appropriate alternate name that highlights the same trait.
* The members of the brand committee were: Melissa Richer, Sagarika Sundaram, Thierry Blancpain, Steve Tam, Eoin Bara, Radha Mistry, Aisha Sheikh, Stavros Stavroulakis, Michelle Lim, Audrey Richard-Laurent, Nastaran Tavakoli-Far, Erica Berger, Denis Baranov, David Skudlik, Luc Jodet, Brenda Wambui, and Edward Silhol