It's perhaps the most important project in Ideasicle's six year history, as this client's purpose is to counter violent extremism.
It was a naming project and this client had outgrown their current name. I say "outgrown" because they were moving from an old model to a more flexible and innovative organization that will have a transatlantic presence. Our assignment was to rename this organization to better reflect its evolution.
It's the first of its kind to combine new media, communications, on-the-ground networks, cutting edge new research and high level policy advisory work, all countering violent extremism. It's an organization that will do what none other has: reach out to youth and compete proportionately against extremists trying to recruit. It's grassroots but focused on big ideas.
The old organization was founded by Sasha Havlicek, a leader and accelerator in counter-extremism work at the policy and grassroots levels throughout Europe. The new organization is built from the experiences of both Sasha Havlicek and Farah Pandith, a former senior level US government official and pioneer in work on countering violent extremism, who served at The White House and the US Department of State.
These are the two world's foremost experts in countering violent extremism. Together they've been experimenting with solutions to this problem for over two decades, long before it was trendy. They have real world experience, not just an abstract academic view of the problem.
But when it came to naming the organization they were stuck.
As Farah put it,
"We had been working on this for months and batting all kinds of names around. We'd tried everything, even hired another naming firm to help us. But it was with Ideasicle's creativity and approach to naming that allowed us to generate the breakthrough we needed! We were stuck and you unstuck us! Thank you!"
Naming is harder than it sounds.
Naming companies, products, even features of products is far more difficult than most people think. If you're a parent, think about how hard it was to name your children when they were born. It's a very intimate decision, it is wildly subjective, it has to feel right, and the gravity of "permanence" weighs heavily - once it's done it's done forever.
And it was no different for Farah and Sasha. Here they had an well known organization formed during a different time that was rapidly evolving. Now, with a new model and outset, they needed a new name that reflected what the organization would become as these two co-founders launched their vision that would be bold and relevent globally.
Add to that two extremely intelligent, but very different and opinionated, women at the helm, and one can understand why they might be stuck.
Naming is a creativity and numbers game.
The Ideasicle process is designed to accommodate all of a client's dynamics. We do not get precious and present three ideas and try shoving one recommendation down the client's throat. No, in naming projects like this we'll present 20-30 names (all pre-screened using the uspto.gov site for any obvious trademark issues) and we do not try to "sell" any of them. We just present the names and get the clients' feedback.
Then we do it again, now armed with that valuable feedback.
By presenting that first set of 20+ ideas we can hear our two clients react, we can hear how they talk to each other about the names, and we can tease out their different criteria for what makes a good name. Coming out of round one, we had a very clear direction for round two.
And, in this case, after round two we had 4 finalists that our new clients are now taking to trademark lawyers for conflict assessment.
It was all virtual, it took about two weeks of ideation time, and, most importantly, it helped this important organization get unstuck. A good day for Expert Sourcing at Ideasicle.
We can't tell you the names we came up with just yet, but trust us when we say you will have heard of this organization and its important work in the coming months.