Recasting a Naming Convention from a Customer POV
After years of dramatic growth and keeping up with technological advancements, the product and service portfolio of telecommunications provider Cox Business—which includes Internet, phone, video, and networking services—had become bloated and confusing for customers. Naming had been done in an ad hoc fashion, following no logical strategy or methodology. The result was an inconsistent nomenclature and a convention that focused on products, technologies, and features as opposed to a higher-order model that would resonate with customers. Further complicating the situation was the fact that buying behaviors differed by customer segment and by service area, so determining a singular way to organize offers across the entire portfolio was challenging.
The FullSurge team began by conducting qualitative and quantitative research among both current and prospective business customers. The objective of the market research was to develop a sophisticated understanding of how business customers “shop the category,” and what type of organizing principle and naming convention would be most logical to them. Our research findings revealed that industry vertical and size of business—the primary means by which the company had historically organized its portfolio—were not distinguishing characteristics or accurate indicators of customer behavior. Rather, customers saw much more value and utility in organizing the product portfolio by level and type of business benefit provided through various offer bundles. Importantly these desired benefits tend to be more similar than different across industries and sizes of business.
With this critical insight in mind, we recommended a new organizing principle and naming convention for the Cox Business product/service portfolio. Specifically, the new convention focused on need-sate and level of service, while clearly indicating the service area the offering addressed (e.g., data/internet, phone, video). Importantly, product features and technical terms such as Coax, WAN and Dynamic IP—which previously had found their way into the naming convention and confused customers—were relegated to secondary status and outside the new naming convention.
Our research findings revealed that industry vertical and size of business—the primary means by which the company had historically organized its portfolio—were not distinguishing characteristics or accurate indicators of customer behavior.
The client embraced the brand architecture and naming convention recommendations and put in place a long-term migration plan. The new approach, based on level of need by service area, helps guide a new brand architecture for servicing customers in a more relevant way—one which is customer- and market-centric as opposed to internally defined. FullSurge also provided Cox Business with a detailed blueprint for how to correctly name future new products and services in a manner that is consistent with the recommended convention.
"FullSurge was a strategic and collaborative business partner for us during a recent consulting engagement. They helped us make sense of a complex brand portfolio structure, and identify an architecture and naming convention that was intuitive for customers and consistent with our business needs. I would welcome the opportunity to partner with them again in the future."