Strategic Services

Good names arise out of a deep, strategic understanding of a brand. Every time Catchword develops a new name, we start with strategy. We begin by reviewing the company or product positioning with the client, and refining it if needed. We analyze the competitive naming landscape and identify opportunities for differentiation. We determine whether the new name will fit into existing product families, naming protocols, or name styles.

Strategy is front and center to every Catchword naming project, but sometimes you need deeper or more focussed strategic guidance.

A clearer naming architecture for your portfolio will make it easier for customers to find the products they want, and easier for you to add new ones.

Creating a naming protocol is the key for naming product families, co-branded products, line extensions, and project code names, so you’re not reinventing the wheel each time you’re faced with a naming challenge.

We also offer other strategic naming services, including

  • assessing whether you even need a name for your new product!
  • identifying opportunities for brand consolidation
  • recommending a naming style (descriptive, proprietary, alphanumeric, etc.)
  • evaluating the viability of names developed in-house
  • determining linguistic and cultural implications for taking a brand global
  • maximizing internal buy-in and external interest in your name launch
Naming Architecture

Like a well-designed house, naming architecture should be welcoming and intuitive, so it’s easy for customers to find their way to the brands they want. Too often, though, when companies have lots of long-standing brands, their portfolio becomes a maze of names that’s off-putting to potential customers and confusing to internal audiences.

That’s where we come in. Our process includes discussions with stakeholders, an exhaustive review of the existing portfolio of brand names and those of key competitors, and an assessment of which areas need streamlining or clarifying. We then develop a range of architectural options for consideration. Once a model is chosen and refined, we’ll develop guidelines for determining when new names are warranted, and a naming protocol for how they’ll be developed.

The result is a flexible yet consistent structure for housing all of your brand names that clarifies the relationships between different brands, maximizes your budget (by eliminating unnecessary proprietary names that require expensive marketing), and simplifies future naming efforts.

Naming Protocol

Like their social counterparts, naming protocols make life simpler by providing decision trees so that you know exactly what to do when a particular naming challenge arises.

Some common challenges include

  • Name categorization: master brand versus sub-brand
  • Family naming conventions: use of words, alphanumerics, or numbers
  • In-house naming procedures: steps, checkpoints, and vetting
  • Name usage: consistency in use of company name, trademark symbols, and abbreviations
  • Co-branding: process for creating and implementing names
  • Code-naming: guidelines for choosing project names that won’t turn into real names

Having clear naming protocol in place will grease the wheels of your naming process, keep your naming portfolio orderly, and control the way your brand names are used in traditional and social media.

Name Audit  

If you want to get the most out of your existing brand names, or take advantage of weaknesses or gaps in the competitive landscape, it helps to get the 30,000-foot perspective. We offer both internal and competitive name audits for clients who want the big picture.

Internal name audits
An internal name audit can answer all sorts of questions you may not even think to ask. For instance:

  • How many trademarks do you own?
  • How many of them are current?
  • Are all your product names being used correctly in collateral and other marketing?
  • Are there names on your website that you don’t even know about?
  • Do you really own all the domains you think you do?

Internal name audits include IP assessments (of trademarks, domain names, licensed names, and co-branding), reviews of internal and external communications, analysis of existing names, and most importantly, recommendations for improving name equity, management, and marketing.

Competitive name audits
Or you may want to know what your competition is up to and how their names stack up against yours. Becoming familiar with their naming styles and the organization and structure of their brand name portfolio will help you understand what they—and you—are doing right and wrong.

Competitive name audits include an in-depth analysis of the naming strategies of up to five competitors followed by an analysis of the competitive naming landscape as a whole. We also provide clients with a summary of opportunities to differentiate from competitors and ways to improve current naming practices.

How to Evaluate a Brand Name.

Blog

Catchword-named blockchain infrastructure company Soluna has launched, and made headlines with its announcement of plans for the first utility-scale computing facility powered entirely by its own renewable energy sources. The company will develop a 900MW wind farm to supply all the energy for an adjacent computing facility in southern Morocco, one of the world’s windiest regions. Catchword worked closely with the company team to develop the name Soluna earlier this spring.

Catchword-named Soluna makes headlines

The Company

Mining cryptocurrency and other blockchain operations require huge amounts of energy. According to Digiconomist, as of this June, Bitcoin mining alone consumed electricity equivalent to almost 10% of China’s annual usage. This tremendous demand puts an unsustainable strain on local grids and the planet’s energy resources while increasing the use of cheap but damaging fossil fuels.

In response to this ever-growing problem, Soluna was formed by private equity firm Brookstone Partners to integrate renewable energy production and processing-intensive computer operations like blockchain and offer an alternative to low-cost, harmful fossil fuels. Because the power will be efficiently generated on site, “Our power cost will be among the lowest in the world,” said John Belizaire, Soluna CEO, to Bloomberg. The company plans to eventually develop renewably powered centers around the globe.

The Name

Catchword-named Soluna makes headlines“Our goal was to create a name that represented our ethos, our ambitious plan, and one that was unique in our field,” said Belizaire in a blog post about the naming process. “Soluna elegantly meets our brand objectives.”

A coinage of sol and luna [“sun” and “moon” in Latin], Soluna tells a rich story, evoking humanity’s most fundamental aspirations – looking up to the great light in the sky. Little is as permanent as the sun and moon, yet their cycles are dynamic. Pairing sun and moon suggests a scalable, stable source of power at all times, day or night.

The sun is ultimately the source of all life, energy, growth, transformation. The logo’s use of a triangle, the symbol of change (delta), for the final a in the name further expresses the transformational nature of the brand. Soluna expresses the renewable resource of solar energy, while more generally evoking the sustainability and beauty of the natural world.

Catchword-named SolunaThe name recalls “solution,” which the company provides to the problem of evolving technology’s increasing energy consumption. The name also recalls “una” (one), suggesting the comprehensiveness of the company’s all-in-one energy production and computer processing model.

Soluna expresses the brand’s humanity and compassion, while the name’s Latin base suggests seriousness and intelligence. The alternating consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel construction and initial sibilant convey flexible strength and make the word easy for an international audience to pronounce. The Latin base also makes it easy for a global audience to understand and remember.

Catchword-named Soluna makes headlinesThe company team reviewed more than 100 names during the process, with 10 finalists. As often happens, the company’s final choice was not the first one that jumped out at them. (Company names, especially, require a little time for the layers of meaning and metaphor to unfold. This is actually an important tool for building brand engagement. As we recognize each new layer in the name, or the visual identity, we are rewarded with a little hit of pride for figuring it out.)

As the team lived with the top name candidates, one name stood out, as Belizaire explained in his blog post: “Finally, we chose Soluna for the brand because it tells our story the best.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Catchword is very proud to have partnered with John and the Soluna team and wishes them great success in greening the blockchain world.

Catchword-named blockchain infrastructure company Soluna has launched, and made headlines with its announcement of plans for the first utility-scale computing facility powered entirely by its own renewable energy sources.

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