Even though it had been several years since she attended a LightBox Collaborative training, when Shanée Garner was launching a new parent organizing project, she knew exactly who she wanted to work with on the communications.
Strategy Sprints: Tight Sessions for Quick Results
Amanda and Eliza from LightBox kicked off the process by gathering the core group from their team (parents, funders, organizers, and their small staff) for a series of strategy sprints to brainstorm brand concepts and naming criteria.
Together, they first clarified that although this was a multiracial effort, centering Black history and leadership was an essential element to the organization’s vision of parents leading the way to education justice for the students who need it most.
As part of our naming process, we encourage clients to approach naming as a hiring process. What are we hiring our name to “do”? In other words, what are the required responsibilities and what are the nice-to-haves?
Your Name’s Job Description Worksheet: Your name isn’t just a word or phrase, it’s a working part of your brand. One of the best ways to determine if a name choice will work for you is to articulate what it needs to do and use our easy–to–use worksheet as a filter to determine which name gets the job.
In this case, the main job was to represent a Black-led movement dedicated to education justice. The team also wanted a bold name that would inspire and stand out from other organizations.
Creating the Conditions for Success
At LightBox, we don’t dictate outcomes. We see ourselves as facilitators of the creative process. In our experience, helping organizations decide how to make a decision about a name is much harder than coming up with the name itself.
In fact, following the naming sprint, we weren’t the ones to come up with the final name. Once we’d set the criteria for the name, and grounded the new organization’s emerging brand in Black history and leadership, Shanée had a flash of inspiration and proposed “Lift Every Voice Philly.” The reference to the Black national anthem immediately struck a chord with the group. The name resonated strongly all around, bringing to life the organization’s heart and soul.
Deciding on a Name & Owning the Choice
At this point, thanks to the open dialogue and inclusive decision-making, it was easy for the team to reach a unanimous agreement: “Lift Every Voice Philly” it was!
One critical aspect of the naming process we always emphasize is fully embracing the chosen name and wholeheartedly standing behind the decision. When Lift Every Voice Philly was ready to commit to their new name, they were well-positioned to establish a strong brand presence within the community.
“In just the past year, Lift Every Voice has grown tremendously: we’ve put down roots in four chapters, doubled our budget, and doubled our staff. Feeling really clear about who we are–and who are not–gave us the confidence necessary to get off to the races.” – Shanée Garner, Founding Executive Director, Lift Every Voice Philly
Your Name and Your Messaging Work Together
Our next step was to help Lift Every Voice Philly build out their message platform and inaugural web content. Having a compelling name and brand platform drives messaging decisions around starting with frames and metaphors and leading to personality and voice.
We even edited their staff bios to be more in keeping with their brand strategy.
As for how the name is working out?
“When Lift Every Voice was founded, we knew we needed a name that would set the tone and do some of the work to embody our mission and vision. What we didn’t know until much later was how much our name would be a grounding and connecting force for people from all walks of life.” explains Shanée.
“Whether we’re outside of schools or in boardrooms with foundation staff, we’ve found that our name sets a tone (and sometimes the terms) of our conversation.”
Is your organization ready for a new name and/or branding? We’ll put together the perfect team to orchestrate your vision. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org