Case Studies

What's in a Name...

Naming a predictive tool for a chemicals company


As part of its enterprise-wide transformation efforts to move from a commodities provider to a customer-intimate organization that delivers differentiating value to converters, a large chemicals company was developing numerous ways to help it target customers’ businesses. One of these innovations was a tool that converters could use to predict the property, as well as economic outcomes, of different combinations of resins. This technology would be highly valuable to customers, as it would enable them to cost-effectively experiment with several different grades to create the optimal polyethylene product for particular applications. The challenge was developing a name for the tool that met certain criteria, and was an effective communicator for a highly technical product.


The FullSurge team began by immersing themselves in the tool, how it was used, and its application to customers’ businesses. Internal and external interviews were conducted to gain key perspectives on both the utility of the tool, as well as the higher order benefit it would provide. We also scanned the competition for similar tools to gain insights on potential differentiators, as well as names/word usage to avoid. As we synthesized these learnings, we developed a positioning strategy and tool-specific criteria to guide name development. Key among the criteria was that the new name be “on brand” relative to a new master brand strategy the client had adopted. This information, as well as a recommend naming territory, was discussed with the client team to ensure early alignment before creative development began. Based on enthusiastic approval of the strategy, criteria, and naming territory, we began creative development of a long list of name candidates. We conducted “knock-out” searches of this list and narrowed it to a digestible amount to discuss with the client. After receiving early feedback, a second round of name candidates was developed, presented, and discussed. Five names were eventually selected to take into a more exhaustive legal search for eventual trademarking purposes, as well as cultural linguistic check in key world languages. Throughout the process, we educated the client as to what effective naming would be within the business context, as well as facilitated them toward decisive selection.


A final name was selected and cleared of legal/translation hurdles. The name has become a model example to the rest of the enterprise on how to create effective names that are “on brand,” “on strategy,” and effectively communicate complicated technologies in customer-friendly terms.


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