Naming a Nonprofit – Case Study

Create a brand name for a new foster care service that works with local churches with a more effective approach to foster services. Some of the nuances of the foster services category include the following:

  • Sensitivity of subject, foster care services, requires a name with the correct tone
  • In support of national roll-out, brand must support broader appeal than denominational or regional services
  • New business model will require clear and simple communication
  • Secondary considerations are the extendability of brand name to other products, e.g. master-brand, sub-brand; descriptors

Competitive name mapping was undertaken for the foster care services category. Following are the results.

Competitive Name Mapping

Competitive Name Mapping Nonprofit

Evaluating category competitor brand names delivered the following insights to guide our brand name development process:

  • The majority of foster service brand names are literal name types, based on denomination, geographic origin, or basic description
  • No names in foster services (other than Cornerstone), leverage the associative benefits of metaphorical name types
  • An opportunity exists to differentiate Cornerstone’s new name, as the business model is different from the category, so should the naming strategy

Over 90 brand name candidates were generated. Following are select brand name candidates that ranked highest by 8 criteria.

Naming Scoring and Ranking

Name Scoring and Ranking Nonprofit

Next, trademark and domain screening is undertaken for brand name finalists.

Trademark and Domain Screening

Trademark Domain Screening Nonprofit

After careful review, the client, Cornerstone Family Services, decided to not change their name and continue to use their existing name. We applaud Cornerstone for considering alternatives.