How should we decide on a name for our new organization?

Portfolio Director Meija Jacobs weighs in on how organizations should decide on a name. 

Meija's key points for naming an organization:

  • A name needs to be telegraphic, memorable, sticky.
  • A name needs to be evocative.
  • It takes time for names to imbue meaning. Eventual meaning will grow based on where the name appears and how the organization uses the name in different contexts. 


More tips from Meija on naming and name types:

The 3 types of names for organizations:

  • Descriptive: Clear and easy to remember, these names define what the brand is. Examples of companies with descriptive names are: Post-it, Ziploc, and Save the Whales. 
  • Suggestive: Hint at the intent behind the name but doesn't paint a clear picture of exactly what the organization does. Examples of companies with suggestive names are: Energizer, LEAF electric car, and Kiva. 
  • Fanciful: Takes investment of time and marketing dollars to build understanding of what these companies stand for. Examples of companies with fanciful names are: Apple and Virgin.

Do you have a workplace challenge you'd like IDEO designers to address? Send us your questions here or use #HeyGotaMinute on Twitter. 

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