A new developer-focused platform for beacons needed a name with a backstory and an approachable feel. Named after a British lighthouse that was rebuilt with the latest technology of its time (three times due to the tumultuous English Channel), the name hints at the rock-like shape of the beacons and also sounds like a person’s name.
Its logo evoking the beacon’s shape as well as a lighthouse beam.
Not every project is a good fit for a suggestive/empty name, but with deep developer relationships and a need to feel different from a variety of xBeacon industry names, the Eddystone team opted for a long term approachable direction.
The Serrano Hotel was a boutique hotel that had a good reputation for supporting film crews shooting in San Francisco and wanted to focus on that lucrative repeat business by emphasizing how they went above and beyond for them.
The Pacific Palisades Hotel needed a severe boost to occupancy. They had a small marketing budget and were surrounded by big chains that had much more brand recognition. So we looked at what we could do for them. We opportunistically bought cheap, last minute ad space in the local newspapers left over when other advertisers canceled. We wrote ads that were designed to get attention by speaking to the competition, the context and pushing an edgy personality that none of the other hotels could copy in order to draw in the younger, hipper tourist. The results? An unheard of 80% boost in occupancy – and a campaign that got talked about throughout the city.
When Pyramid, a San Francisco music production school, wanted to create its own music label to give its students wider exposure and a chance to be discovered, it needed a name that sounded like a big record label – and had a serious story.
I led the effort and was the sole namer for the project. After a round of work, I presented the word “epiphyte” – a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic – which was a wonderful story about growth and about the students leveraging the strength and power of the school behind them to get their careers growing. It had a relation to neophyte. It also had the added nod of starting with “EP” – a reference back to the industry that the designer leveraged by combining a sense of musical notation and a turntable.
WellPoint was getting its pharmacy benefits management brand in order. Not only were they giving it a new structure as part of WellPoint rebranding, they were adding new offers that changed the way the category would be seen.
I led the effort to develop the deceptively simple, but always memorable brand “NextRx.” The market loved the brand and the customers intuitively understood it was their pharmacy insurance when they received their next healthcare card.
The effort to give NextRx its own personality in the market was so successful, in fact, that it was targeted and acquired by the biggest player in the industry – Express Scripts. Thus sometimes a great name is so successful that it leads to its own retirement.
The work on NextRx built a relationship that allowed me to pitch and win a much larger engagement for our company with the WellPoint master brand for design, voice and brand training.
How do you create a cohesive naming system that can accommodate 130 product launches a year? That can span from $4 computer mice to $500 music systems and still feel like a master brand? That could accommodate the constant improvement of technology, but didn’t lose the story of the category? That engineers could get behind and that had room for the big marketing pushes that consumers needed to fall in love with?
Armed with some research, some insight into the road maps and a (way too deep) understanding of everything the company was asking of its names (including a trip to their factory in China), I created a detailed system of nomenclature that simplified numbering across categories, built criteria for evocative names within the system (and the rules around when numbers had to appear and could be left off), demonstrated how the names would work in each touchpoint and created guidelines and a wiki to allow company-wide visibility of the names in use.
While numbers aren’t always the solution, this combination of clear and descriptive naming, supported by tiering numbers with the flexibility for evocative names that could fit seamlessly into the system has been a success in helping customers and sales teams clearly understand the line up – and speeding time to market on the products they create.