Making new tech at home in yards


This geothermal innovator wanted to make the heating and cooling technology, familiar in Europe but relatively unknown in the US, feel friendly, natural, and welcome in American homes.

Inspired by the company’s unique drilling, straight downward like a dandelion’s tap root, the name aims to feel familiar and comfortable year round.

Finding a new metaphor for beacons

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.

Giving a spin off a clear purpose

Sensata TechnologiesWhen Texas Instruments was preparing to spin off its sensors and controls business, they needed a name that felt big and trustworthy, close in to sensors and controls, but still had an evocative feel.

I led the effort with the client, found a name they could rally behind and worked closely with design to bring these close-in names to life.

Not only did they adopt the name, the effort went so well, it led to nomenclature, brand positioning, design and even more engagements with the Texas Instruments master brand as well.

Bringing order to a product portfolio

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?

Logitech nomenclature

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.

Logitech Touch

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.



Moving from model numbers to emotional engagement

Samsung had always named their mobile phones in the way they had named their microwaves – a strong master brand, a price point and a model number to help with stocking and ordering. But Motorola, with its Razr, had changed the game on them. We helped them develop a tonality and strategy to move from numbers and letters to a story that they could get behind.


And this phone – the first with an intuitive haptic interface that allowed “soft buttons” to give the user a sense of feedback without staring at the screen – got a name that became Samsung’s flagship for announcing their new evocative push into the mobile and smart phone market.

Creating a new category for the category creator

Adobe LightroomHow could Adobe create a new software suite for true photographers that was differentiated from their flagship Photoshop brand (which began as a photographer’s program and became known as an artist’s tool)? The UI metaphor was steeped in traditional professional photography metaphors – loupes, lightboxes, negatives.

With naming, we explored a wide range of options, but coming up with the simple story of “everything you’d do in a dark room, now in the light” led to the name that I’m most proud of.

The best names feel like they’ve been around forever a day after you pitch them. Lightroom fit seamlessly into Adobe’s portfolio. (And once the software package was re-engineered to be compatible with Photoshop, they brought it under their banner Photoshop brand with the nomenclature criteria work I developed for them as well.)

Yesterday’s TV of tomorrow had a really cool name.


All the web you want to see on your TV needed a name that set it apart from the mice, keyboards, webcams and remote controls Logitech was known for. A name that screamed entertainment – and was ready to go global.

I lead the effort, created the name, and did the sell in to everyone: the CEO and board, the Swiss engineers and the Google marketing team.

I also built the nomenclature for the accessories and helped Google build criteria for the use of the Google TV brand.