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Building a diet-diverse future – What’s in a name?

Damilare

Damilare

6 min read

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TL;DR: How we went about process of several iterations to arrive at the new verbal identity for Clickerance.

A few weeks ago, we teamed up with the guys at Fourth Canvas to help define and articulate the essence of the Clickerance brand. While we had absolute clarity about the future being a more diet-diverse and inclusive world, we needed some help in establishing the DNA of a brand that is fit to deliver on this kind of vision. I suspect that at a later date in the future, when the success story of Clickerance needs to be told, the guys at Fourth Canvas would likely describe the occasion of our first meeting as a day of cluttered ramblings. However, true to their courteous form, they may choose to recount a more blissful encounter.

The initial identity brief sent by Clickerance to the Fourth Canvas team
Initially reached out via their website contact form.

We thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the process which allowed us to crystallise our brand core, purpose, vision, mission, values, tone, voice, messaging and positioning. Without doubt, myself, Santiago and Anas have touched on different parts of this over the last couple of months. However, this exercise helped put structure and coherence to expressions previously without form. By the time we concluded the brand strategy phase, we had to confront the reality that we needed to rethink our current verbal identity. The Fourth Canvas team shared their concerns, and upon further reflection, the logic of their argument became too obvious to ignore. Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail they sent in respect.

As mentioned earlier, we advise not to proceed with the name Clickerance for the following reasons:

1.) It’s too feature-direct

2.) Might limit us to be perceived as a browser/online add on

3.) The name gets problematic when it is to be spelt and is a mouthful when pronounced

4.) The name does not give off any of the ideals of lively, family, food or discovery

Excerpt of the e-mail from the team
Donna Paulsen as a brand personality identity for a diet-diverse advisor - Clickerance
If our brand was a person she would be a resourceful, sharp-witted, humorous and everyone’s cheerful best friend, Donna Paulsen (of the Suits TV Series)

The First Iteration

There are diverse opinions out there on the degree of importance of a great verbal identity, with a multitude of checklists for arriving at a really good one. Ease of pronunciation and spelling, 2–3 syllables work better, domain freedom and the positioning of consonants, are some of the most common ones I know of (Know some others? Please share in the comments section as I am interested in learning more about other considerations for naming conventions). As a religious listener of How I built This with Guy Raz, I am often intrigued when some founders share the story of how they arrived at their now sticky brand names. A few of them do not follow the common convention, some others came from whimsical inspirations, while the remaining lot came after diligent and painstaking brainstorm.

With that in mind, I looked forward to the first set of recommendations. I wonder now though, considering that this was our first dose of reality about letting go of the Clickerance name, maybe I was less receptive to these submissions. I’ll leave you to judge. Nonetheless, after circulating the options amongst our target users, the team and other advisors, we provided a summary feedback for each of the names.

  1. Grupper:
    Grupper is an abstract name that gives off the sense of a tool used in carrying out an action. We think this name goes along with the brand’s active words of ‘unlocking’ and ‘selecting food items’. Our Feedback: Sounds too much like a technology tool and less personal
  2. Chowcart:
    A blend of chow — referencing food — and cart to depict the idea of food shopping. We purposely used the ‘C’ consonant to make the spelling and pronunciation give off a fun and lively vibe. Our Feedback: Sounds more like an e-commerce site that specialises in oriental foods.
  3. Grokery:
    This name serves well to be our way of renaming grocery for the purpose of the brand where anyone can say, just pick it up on Grokery or shop that tasty cereal on your Grokery. We also think the consonants G and K are very strong and will aid the memorability of this name. Our Feedback: Sounds very much like Crockery (which relates more to earthenware), auto-correct also often changed it to grocery when we tried to send it on messaging platforms to one another.
  4. Blanch
    From the phrase Carte Blanche — unlimited discretionary power to act; unrestricted authority — the brand name Blanch is our way of honing in on the ideal of the freedom to be in control; deciding what food to eat based on your preference. The mono-syllabic name is very memorable and alludes to food words like brunch, lunch and the concept of blanching food items. Our Feedback: Has a tendency to end with Bland once it is rolling off the tongue. In addition, blanching is a cooking method and already exists as a verb. We would struggle to establish domain authority in this regard.
  5. Plaxi
    Totally abstract but gives off a fun and easily recallable vibe. Plaxi falls into the category of names that could be verbalised into actions e.g I would just Plaxi our meals for the next holiday. Our Feedback: The most neutral of the option and the one that lends some credence to our thought on how we think you could approach the naming. Our challenge with this is that it rhymes with Taxi and for many people we polled, it evoked images of plasticity, placquing and plaques.
  6. Curena
    A blend of ‘Culinary’ and ‘Arena’, the name Curena helps to give off the sense of a world of food waiting to be explored. Our Feedback: Considering the times, has a rhythm with Corona or Cure.

In essence, the most recurring feedback we had were that people wanted something more personalizable and focused more clearly on the user pain-point.

Read the story behind our mission

The Second Iteration

I think there was something in the way we provided detailed feedback that allowed the team come up with a second draft of the identity that had a better hit rate with us than the first.

  1. Buffay:
    The word ‘buffet’ brings to mind an array of several food options. We’re opening our users to a world of several food items from which they may select their choice meals. We however preferred to give the name an abstractness through its spelling in order to aid pronunciation and give it a happy vibe. While it is spelled differently the word is still pronounced as ‘buffet’. Our Feedback: We did not like Buffay as an option at all. Had a cheeky look that didn’t go well with trust because of how it tries to be witty by half.
  2. Lama:
    One of the most friendliest animals; the Llama is a calm, social and adorable pet that suits the friendly nature of our brand. We chopped off one of the ‘l’s to aid readability, and recognition. Our Feedback: We instantly liked this. However we were worried about biases and perception of the Llama. Interestingly, we came to learn about it’s other important association, the DalaiLama (Lama is a title for a teacher of the Dharma in Tibetan Buddhism)
  3. Muna:
    Muna is primarily a gender-neutral name of Arabic origin that means desires or wishes — users of our brand can find all of their food desires when they use our product. This word ticks the box of a name that sounds like a real human name like Siri or Alexa and can easily help us build that friendly helper brand. Our Feedback: Like Lama, we instantly loved the name. Nothing could be more personal than Muna. Sadly, Muna’s homophone is the word Mooner (a person who wanders around distractedly or aimlessly or slang for a person who bares or exposes his or her bottom)

The Nth Iteration

After the second identity iteration, there were many other iterations which I would just highlight some of them briefly.

  1. Traybox
  2. Raya
  3. Tooty
  4. Cuvo
  5. Noshnob
  6. Nibble
  7. Sherpaly
  8. AisleGuide
  9. Aisla
  10. Myway Foods
  11. Platter
  12. Surfeat

The Final Iteration

For every iteration, we had loads of feedback from our potential users. It seemed like this process was going to go on forever and be like one of those names that will only come after trying 2000 variations of an identity. Then we received the next iteration below, and after polling a group of people with it, we believe we had all the elements to decide on a new verbal identity.

  1. Havara:
    A modification of the word ‘Havira’, this name alludes to lush abundance and unusual agility. It sounds friendly and can be easily recalled.
  2. SuperLama:
    The Llama is a calm, social and adorable pet that suits the friendly nature of our brand. We chopped off one of the ‘l’s to aid readability, and added a prefix that’s suggestive of being very good and efficient. We think this name has a good ring to it and makes our brand a friendly superhero.
  3. Kefy:
    The Greek word ‘Kefi” which roughly translates to joy, enthusiasm and passion is baked into how we help users feel when they make use of our product.

As a new dad, I have recently experienced how names do really grow on you. My daughter has quite a few names (it is not uncommon for children of Nigerian origin to have more than 8 names, as its cultural for other members of the extended family to provide a name). Personally, it’s been interesting, how a name of hers that I wasn’t too fond of in the beginning, is my new favourite. Therefore, I do not assume that the new name for Clickerance would have consensus acceptance or understanding because of our convictions as a team. In my opinion, a great brand name is that which grows well on you!

Can you guess what identity we eventually went with?

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