Well, you’ve searched far and wide to find the right provider. You’ve worked hard to create a platform that embodies your company’s identity and meets your employee’s needs. So you’re ready to go, right? Wrong. There’s one very important step left: choosing a name for your knowledge sharing platform.
And no, a rose of any other name won’t smell as sweet. The name you choose matters. The right name can make all the difference in how your platform is received. So, this decision is not to be taken lightly. Make sure you choose the right name for your knowledge sharing platform.
For 13 years, Elium has been working with clients from manufacturers to telecommunication agencies, to develop the best platforms for them. So, we know how much work goes into creating a knowledge sharing platform that can draw all employees together, and embody what your organization is about.
After all that hard work, it is important to give your platform the best possible reception, by giving it a winning name.
Your platform name will be on the tool’s landing page, it will show as the sender of outgoing emails and should become part of the company’s lingo. It is important to choose something that employees will like using, and that clearly conveys its purpose.
Experience tells us this is no easy task. We have seen our clients struggle to decide, we have seen them make mistakes, and we have seen them hit on great names time and again. This is why we are well placed to compile some simple tips to help you choose your platform name.
Your platform has been designed for a clear purpose. The name has to fit with your company culture. Aeroport de Paris chose a great name for their platform – one that embodies both the purpose of the enterprise, and the role of their Elium. They call it ‘Synapse’ – the connection between two nerve cells, whose purpose is to ensure the transmission of information from one to the other!
Your platform isn’t just another tool. It is what draws all your tools together.
For Elium client, SNCF, the staff platform is designed as a space where everyone can engage – a special meeting place that draws all employees together. They called it ‘Baobab’ after the sacred tree, known as a place of exchange and gathering in African villages.
Not everyone in your organization will be thrilled about changing their usual procedures. Make sure that your name is not too technical. It is important to get teams on board. The last thing you want to do is alienate your employees.
Like SNCF, Elium client Bouygues Construction wanted a name that called all their staff together to an informal place of open communication. The purpose of their platform, is to create a more social workflow for their employees. That’s why they call their HR knowledge base, ‘HOME’.
With an accessible and easy-to-use interface and a cosy name, “Getting our colleagues in the HR Department onboard was an easy task,” says Knowledge Manager, Laurent Mouty.
Is yours a multi-lingual company or likely to become one? Do you have international staff or clients? Make sure you find a name that works in all languages and that does not need to be translated.
Choose something that tells your employees exactly why they should use their new Elium. MSL Group wanted a name that conveyed their entrepreneurial spirit and characterized their platform as a place where all resources can be found. They called it simply ‘Mind’.
Look for a name that can work in the long term. Consider all the possible nicknames it could develop and dismiss anything that could end up with an off-putting nickname. Try using it in a sentence, and don’t forget, when it comes to names, short and simple is always better than long and complicated.
One great way to integrate a platform into your employee’s lives is to involve them all in the naming process. The more employees put into a platform, the more they get out of it. Many of our employees have had great success running internal naming contests or voting.
But be careful! This process has to be carefully thought out. If you run a vote, make sure you honour it. To dismiss the consensus would have a detrimental effect on the uptake of the new system!
Acronyms are a great way to go. Play around with the purpose of your platform and your company, and see if it throws up any appropriate acronyms! You can even think of ways to turn an acronym into a character. For example, Company Activity Time (CAT), could become ‘Caterpillar’.
You want your platform to hold an important place in the minds, and even the hearts of your workers. Going for an actual name, like Bertha or Liam, can be a great way to bring your platform to life. Another advantage of this approach is that you can develop an associated full-on brand with a mascot or cartoon figure. The character design can be chosen via an in-house competition, to get everyone thinking about their new ‘friend’.
When speaking to your employees, is there something which constantly comes up in conversation? An icon, item or someone who represents what you are all about? Naming your platform after your company’s key phrase, mentor, or slogan is a good way to help it embody what you are about.
Try adding a suffix like -ly, -ist, or -ify, to a common company word, and see what happens!
Is employee engagement a major objective for your site? If so, consider how users could be named. Of course, the best-known example, is ‘googler’ for Google employees? Try converting potential names to an -er to describe a member. At Elium, for example, we call each other ‘Eliumers’.
You can also use the hashtag test. Names that can be repurposed in many different ways will enable you to build a dynamic campaign around your platform.
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Try adding ‘World’ to the end of your business name. Is that catchy? Maybe you’ve found your name!
European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) calls their Elium simply ‘EFUS network’.
Before you launch, just check there are no other applications sharing the same name. This happens more often than you would expect!
If you have developed a new knowledge sharing platform or digital workplace, it is probably because your existing system isn’t serving your needs. Don’t recycle the name of your previous communication platform, knowledge sharing system, or intranet. Employees that used the legacy platform are likely to have had negative experiences with the old platform. Your new platform is a fresh new start.
Touring Club Switzerland (TCS) saw their Elium as a new phase of their process. They called their platform simply ‘Next Step’ because this was a move forward in terms of collaboration.
If all else fails, there are companies and agencies like A Hundred Monkeys, or Igor that specialize in creating names for brands. Playing around with name generators like Shopify of Wordoid can be great for getting the ideas flowing!
The bottom line is to come up with a name that works for your audience. And make sure you test out the preferred choice across the organization.
Remember, the name will need to stand the test of time and will be one of the most-used words in the company. What may have seemed like a clever, quirky choice at the time could, five years later, be annoying or outdated.
Whatever you do, be sure to involve staff members in the final selection. As well as generating a buzz around the platform, staff involvement is a sure-fire way to create buy-in. Employees that have been involved in naming the platform are more likely to embrace the platform from the get-go!