As always, Alex gives some great advice on asking your constituents. I would add to ask them not only for name ideas but to help develop what the story of your community (not space) will be.
Your name is just one dimension of your brand, which is your greatest asset. Ultimately, a high-impact brand articulates your stories to the folks who matter in a way that resonates with them, engages them, and inspires them to action.
Once you have some names, below are some evaluation criteria.
But first, shameless plug: If you can make it to NYC (or those in NYC) June 24, I’m leading a free interactive discussion (hybrid talk/workshop) at Impact Hub, “BRANDIDOTE: The Antidote for High-Impact Branding.”
NAME EVALUATION CRITERIA
Is it differentiating enough to be interesting, especially from similar organizations? Does it have the “presence” of a proper noun or the imperative of a campaign?
How a name will sound/look/feel, as in a logo, in an article, video, etc. How will the name be heard when spoken in conversation to colleagues? In an interview? Is it short enough to be easily recalled and used? Easily spelled and pronounced? Will people enjoy using it? Does it have good “mouth feel”?
How does it speak to the mission and positioning of the group? Is it authentic?
The number of layers of meanings/associations for a name, which may not reveal themselves right away but over time. Does it tell an interesting story? Does it have “legs”? Does it suggest a visual interpretation or lend itself to a number of creative executions? Great names provide endless opportunities for brand play. Names that are intellectually stimulating can ignite the mind and tickle the emotions.
Can it be trademarked? Is it available for web use? While many names can be trademarked, some names are more defensible than others, making them safer and more valuable in the long run.
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On Jun 11, 2014, at 4:27 AM, [email protected] wrote:
“Alex Hillman” [email protected] Jun 10 08:05AM -0700
“My sense of urgency to get a name is because we were picked to be in a city revitalization program which pays for space, help with marketing, and basically assists us to get off the ground.”
Just something to note, that feeling of “urgency” is just a feeling. In reality, your success won’t ever be based on urgency, it’ll be based on patience and listening.
I’ve seen a lot of people get off on the wrong foot because they felt like there was some outside pressure, which they then blame for their poor decisions, and in the end that pressure was something they CHOSE to respond to (not something they were actually forced to do).
Congrats on the recognition, just remember that the people who need to recognize you are your community members and not the institutions.