For any new nonprofit, picking the right name is no easy task, since it must serve multiple functions simultaneously: align with your organization’s values, resonate with your top audiences, and distinguish itself from the competition.
At LightBox Collaborative, we think the naming process can be fun (yes, really) and we make it as interactive as possible. As part of our naming process, we encourage clients to approach naming as a hiring process. In other words, what are you hiring your name to “do”?
Imagine this: the name as the potential job candidate. What’s its primary role? What work do you need the name to do? What is the most important thing it has to accomplish when your audiences encounter it?
What are the job’s non-negotiable requirements and the icing-on-the-cake attributes? And let’s not forget the deal breakers.
Here’s an easy-to-use worksheet we created to help you start the process. Note: the worksheet is in Google Docs format and will automatically be copied to a new document when you click the link. This will allow you to fill it in and save your changes.
As you fill out the worksheet, we offer the following questions as a guide to think through how your key audiences will relate to your new name/tagline.
- Meaningful: Does the name support the positioning and reflect the essence of your brand?
- Relevant: Does the name speak directly to key audiences you are trying to reach?
- Distinctive: Does the name stand out from other organizations in your community?
- Sustainable: Does it position the organization for growth and success, or does it box you in?
- Visual: Does it lend itself well to both graphic and text presentation?
- Context: Does the name work within your field and community?
- Language: Are there language considerations? Literacy constraints? Connotations?
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 this job description as a filter to determine which name gets the job.
Access our free worksheet here.