you really want to like it because you are going to live with it for quite a while! And as you know, everyone has a different style they prefer, including old school, traditional, and new school to name a few.
When the owner of a one-person company is selecting or developing a new company or product name, that alone is no easy task. But what happens when there are multiple people involved in the naming? How do you reconcile a name that EVERYONE likes? This is tougher task for sure. We have found that the keys to a successful naming project whether there is one or many decision makers, is first making sure that we identify and understand the individual criteria of each decision-maker on the team. Once you know what is important to each person, and what they would like to be reflected in the name, it is a good idea to aggregate this list of criteria and put it in front of the entire team. At this point, you can review this broader input together, determine what is most relevant, and then agree on a shortlist from which to begin working, or generating names. This would include identifying whether the preferred “style” of name is one that is more descriptive, or one that is more “open vessel”.
With everyone now on the same page, so to speak, it will be a much more productive and expedient approach to developing a name that will satisfy the whole team’s naming requirements. Happy naming!
Everyone knows there is a clamp down on operating capital across all business sectors. This affects every company with a different magnitude for sure. We need new businesses to create new jobs which in turn stimulates the economy (and of course, bears new technologies and ideas and innovations). But what is a startup to do when they need to emerge in the marketplace with at the very least, a company name, and identity, to help them raise capital from venture firms and / or attract and hire new team members. Storyhat has a plan to help these startups put their best and most professional foot forward, by offering a new product called Brand-in-a-box (BIB). BIB is a package which includes your choice of an appropriate domain name plus a logo, already created for you. The buyer can have storyhat iterate up to 3 revisions on both the font and / or the color of the logo, and in the end, storyhat will transfer the domain(s) purchased along with the original artwork files for the logo plus a variety of formats. Naturally, we can develop additional deliverables including business papers, PPT template and Websites….but this is certainly an exciting and cost-effective opportunity for the start-up community! Storyhat is doing their part.
Every month or so, I meet someone who asks me what I do for a living. To this question I sometimes answer simply, “I name companies and products and then my team brands them.” I anticipate the reply which is pretty common: “Really? That is how you make your living, naming companies? If I started a company, I would definitely be able to name it.”
Here is an interesting misconception…naming companies is easy. There is definitely a reason that naming (and branding) companies such as Storyhat exist. It is because naming companies….is NOT easy!
Though it is true that founders and executives of a company may be on the same page as far as knowing exactly what the company does, what they offer, how they want to be viewed in their industry, and what their future product strategy may be, however more often than not, because a “a name” is so personal, invariably, that same team may be on opposite sides of the spectrum as far as the type of name they feel would be appropriate. That is where a naming company comes in!
There are a lot of factors at play: Finding the right name, finding the right name with an available url, finding the right name with a url that may be for sale…by someone who will not yank your chain for months on end haggling the price, finding the name with the above challenges that importantly you can “own and protect” from a trademark perspective, a name that differentiates you from your competitors and partners, a name that an entire team can agree upon and in the end that meets your criteria and around which you can wrap a compelling story. Remember, picking a name is like picking a tattoo: you are going to live with it for a long time, so you better be the right one!
Whew! Good thing Storyhat exists!
Are you considering a new website design? Are you overwhelmed by your expectation of a difficult process, coupled with the challenge of getting company-wide buy in on one design? Are you agonizing over the idea of rallying your team around one particular design that is fresh, innovative and inspiring, a design that will set your site apart from your competitors? Are you worried that you won’t get the best work for your money? Are you worried that your creative team will fall flat and not provide enough relevant design options from which to choose? Is that you? Are those your concerns?
We have heard it all at Storyhat, and strive and succeed in rising above the competition to provide our clients with a unique and proven process that is personalized and painless, and unparalleled in helping our clients approach the daunting task of going through a website redesign. Case in point….the team at Brand.net approached storyhat with an rfp for their website redesign. When talking to the marketing exec on the Brand.net side, I was cautioned that the team has very disparate views on design, are very opinionated, and when working with them, it might be a challenging process. We assured the team that if they worked with Storyhat, and followed our process, we would present them with a good number of design directions that were very well thought out, addressed their unique requirements and would challenge any preconceived ideas they had of what their new website could look like.
Brand.net chose Storyhat! We had a tight timeline based on their relaunch schedule (6 weeks) and through the December and January Holidays, and we assured them that if their content was done in time, the site would be launched in time as well. They anticipated a lengthy process, but in our first design review we honed in on a design direction, refined the photography story and flash, and within 6 working weeks we launched their new gorgeous site, much to their satisfaction. Check them out and request a reference from them through us if you are considering working with storyhat and if you can relate to the challenges outlined in this post!
More and more, our clients are wanting interactivity on their websites, wanting to engage the visitor and spice up their homepages. But when is too much movement on a page too much? Flash is definitely a great tool to help bring a page to life, drive attention and your eye to a block of copy, or help tell a story through imagery or illustration. While flash has this sexy side, be cautioned, it has a dark side too…. Using flash in more than one area of a website homepage “can” result in an experience of busy and clutter, pulling your eye from one area of the page to another NOT through the intended information hierarchy, or flow of content that the site visitor should pay attention to in a particular order. Not to mention that flash is a long-standing nemesis of SEO, and copy that is integrated in flash is challenged by being picked up by search engines. So, our philosophy is to use flash wisely, “try” not to use it in too many places but if you must have animation in more than one spot on the homepage, be careful with the run times, and make sure you have additional copy on the homepage to be picked up by search engines if SEO is part of your game plan. As a side note, you might want to turn to our friend “java” for interactivity!
MobileIron wins “Best Business Application and Best in Show”, which means best overall startup across all categories!! Read all about it: http://www.undertheradarblog.com. Storyhat is thrilled to be a part of helping build their success through their branding initiatives.
The answer is definitely! Take a look at ScaleMP. ScaleMP approached Storyhat with a challenge: they needed a new website designed and coded in 4 weeks, in time for Supercomputing 2009. ScaleMP’s site had several challenges: Their site did not clearly represent their innovative solutions and products; the imagery did not set the proper tone for the site; the formatting of content did not establish a clear hierarchy; and the site architecture needed to be reorganized a bit. Storyhat buckled down, and through our effective research approach and iterative design process, we completed their new website on time and on budget. 4 weeks? No problem!
Though less and less often, we are asked by venture capitalists in our network if we find it difficult working with companies overseas due to time differences, language barriers, or simply, less “in-person” contact. While this is a great question for sure, our answer to this question would be “NO”. While we always prefer to meet our clients in person and to develop a more personal relationship, we do not always have that luxury. We work with companies all over the world, and our process is therefore geared to make this experience as personal, attentive and effective as possible.
A good example of a project and process that addresses this question is our recent work with a company in India called Intellecap. Storyhat was engaged to redesign the website for Intellecap, as their existing incarnation did not clearly convey their innovative solutions, nor represent the company in a compelling and informative manner.
Though Storyhat is based in the Bay Area and Intellecap in India, we were easily able to understand the many challenges the company had with their current website, help them rethink both the manner by which they are addressing their target audiences through content and imagery, refine their navigation to make it more intuitive, and identify and present solutions to set their site apart from their competitors with more interactivity and robust visual impact. Our flexibility in meeting times provided a convenience for our client to select the time to have our online design reviews (posted on our extranet) via conference calls. Our commitment to working with only 2-3 companies at a time insured that we would be able to provide them with the time and attention their project required to meet their extremely tight timeline.
While on the other side of the world, with our unique process, and exceeding our client’s expectations, we were able to easily translate the client’s needs into a successful new website interface! Working with companies worldwide….NOT a problem!
We would like to direct your attention to our latest company renaming and rebranding. Netbooks is now : WorkingPoint http://www.workingpoint.com
If you are a small business owner, WorkingPoint is a really great, robust and “free” solution to manage all of your bookkeeping and invoicing, with an amazing community and support. The name was developed to reflect the point at which a business owner can manage all of his/her accounts in one spot. The logo was developed to illustrate this story!
We would like to welcome one and all to the new storyhat website naming and branding community! Our new website design has been a long time coming for sure. We welcome you to peruse our new sexy interface, and let us know what you think! We will be commenting periodically about things that are happening in the industry and around company naming and branding, as well as keeping you updated regarding storyhat’s amazing clients and their projects.
We look forward to the opportunity of working with you in the near future, and we thank you for visiting the storyhat blog. You can also follow us on twitter, facebook and LinkedIn!