Naming a Company in A Day (or so)
Working with marketing and other key stakeholders we set out on creating a name and identify for the new company. Using an abbreviated company naming strategy, devised by Jake Knapp as an add-on to "Sprint", I walked the team through a series of exercises to vision a long-term roadmap, define values, determine brand attributes, and explore the competitive landscape. This set of information would help guide us throughout the day as we made decisions on the company name.
After a morning of exercises we went on to define broad themes. This exercise was laptops down and pencils up. For thirty minutes each member of the group worked silently to think of as many themes as they could think of. Once time was up, each member of the group placed their ideas on white board. The answers were sprawling. Everything from animals to manufacturing, and physics to transportation was suggested. Similar themes were grouped together and left on the board to provide inspiration and structure to the next step... picking a name.
Similar to the previous exercise, individuals were asked to work in silence for the next ninety minutes to come up with as many names as they could, that matched the themes we had come up with. Laptops were allowed for this exercise, but only for dictionary, thesaurus, and the odd Wikipeida search. After ninety, grueling minutes participants were again asked to place all of their names on the whiteboard.
Using a system of weighted voting we whittled down the 100+ names to just a handful, then our top three. With our top three names in hand we set about the process of vetting each name. We first determined if each of the names matched our brand values and attributes. We then set off on some quick web searches to see if other companies matching these names exisited and checked for domain names. Finally, we conducted a more thorough trademark search. By this time we had landed on two names... Fathom and Stitch. After a long day we called it quits and gave ourselves time to sleep on it. A few days later, after some more in depth discovery and thought, it was settled. Stitch was the clear winner.
With a new name in hand it was time to define the brand identity. With no internal resources to take on branding a new company we decided to get some outside help. After talking to quite a few branding agencies, we decided to partner with Focus Lab to help us determine our new brand identity, and I'm thrilled that we did. For about a month and a half myself, Lauren Hallden, the team from Focus Lab, and key Stitch stakeholders met weekly to iterate on a brand strategy and identity. After a few short weeks Chase Tuberville and the team from Focus Lab delivered a beautiful logo, a base set of illustrations, and a detailed style guide that helped create a solid foundation for Stitch's future.
As the brand started to take shape in the later stages of development, Lauren Hallden and I set off on creating a website that would communicate Stitch's vision to the World. Working with the marketing team, we crafted a vision of the overall strucuture of the site. The goal was to create a site that clearly communicated the vision and value of Stitch, driving visitors to sign up for the service.
Inspired by editorial design patterns the design team created a boldly elegant site. The overall design positioned Stitch as an innovative, modern data-integration platform and clearly helped set it apart in the competitive landscape.
Staying true to our core value of "simplicity" we limited our color palette. This encouraged us find ways to highlight key information, without being overwhelmed by huge swaths of color. Color also played a key role in our iconography. Bold, black strokes defined the subject of each icon, while yellow highlights helped to accentuate each icon, providing a sense of depth and movement.
You can see the site live and learn more about Stitch at stitchdata.com.