Naming a Tech Startup – Case Study

A successful healthcare technology company was feeling growing pains with a legacy name Cannon Cost Solutions, based on a founder’s name, and perhaps the most cliché business jargon ever (“Solutions”). Realizing the limitations, Cannon sought a brand strategy that would aggressively differentiate itself in a conservative (health insurance), generally literal-named category. Both company name and tagline development were required. After much competitive benchmarking, it was evident that the category (e.g. existing competitors names) was saturated with literal names, along with several synthesized names, but few quality metaphorical names.

Competitive Name Mapping

Competitive Name Mapping AfterMath

Keywords that related to positioning options and category terms were generated and grouped. Name generation was undertaken. After careful analysis, we determined that Cannon could defend a positioning of superior claims data mining technology and expertise that results in substantially improved claims overpayment recoveries.

Over 100 names were generated and mapped by name type. Next, the generated names were scored and ranked using several criteria including distinctiveness, relevant positioning, meaning or associations, trademark and domain name availability, and more.

Names that scored and ranked the highest were screened via the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademark database, and the Internic (WhoIs) domain names registration database.

Naming Candidates

Brand Name Candidates

After a name candidate scoring and ranking process, as well as a trademark screening process, the top-ranked names were voted on by the management team, and five of these names were sent to legal for trademark review. Two passed legal, and both were submitted to customers for feedback (a mini-focus group). With customer input, a finalist was selected— “AfterMath”—a hybrid name with a metaphorical association, but also a combination of two words, after and math, which relates to post-pay claims (“after”), and algorithmic modeling (“math”).

It was possible that a negative association could be perceived with the word “aftermath” often referencing a disaster. To counter the potential negative perception, IDeas BIG developed a tagline or descriptor that could frame the context of the name, and changed the negative into a positive. Over 100 taglines were developed.

A similar process of scoring, ranking and screening was employed to assist in selecting the tagline—“Claim Science”— (another hybrid name type with both metaphoric and literal attributes). The tagline strongly delivers the positioning of superior data mining.

The result—AfterMath Claim Science—is unique in the category, provocative, begging for explanation and highly “leverage-able” from a messaging perspective. Additional identity elements, including logo and graphic theme, further reinforce this positioning. Following is a sampling of graphic applications.

Brand Identity Design Aftermath