Naming Your Community

March 11, 2010Comments Off

Your community name is a powerful symbol. Don’t waste it. Picking the wrong name can do real harm. Picking the right name can do wonders.

A member should feel a sense of affiliation and familiarity with the name of your community. It should identify why the group feel they are special. They should be proud of the name. They should be happy to wear the t-shirts.

Virgin Media Pioneers is a bad name. It’s a brand enforced-name upon a group which probably, until now, has very little connection with Virgin Media. If you need to put a brand name to get sponsors, then be my guest – but don’t be surprised if your community doesn’t rally behind it.

A great name is unique and means more to insiders than outsiders. Pioneers250 for a group of the UK’s top 250 young entrepreneurs works. Outsiders wont get it, insiders will. But even these names aren’t great.

The problem with creating a name for a group you’re not a part of is it’s really, really, hard to empathize with what name really resonates. The name might have little, to nothing, to do with the subject or *sigh* sponsors. You might think Coca Cola’s Teen Tycoons is a great name, they might prefer Solonpre (often random words are easier to rally behind than corporate symbols).

The trick to a great name is to understand how the group identifies themselves to insiders, not outsiders. Put together a few ideas, and let the group adapt and decide.

To learn more about building great communities, sign up for our on-demand course, How to Start an Online Community.

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