Would “Slack” Make It Through Your Company’s Naming Process?

It would, if and only if your naming committee understands the difference between what is true and what is relevant. If your company needed to name “A messaging app for teams” and the name “Slack” was proposed, this is the type of feedback you could expect:

“In business, Slack means “characterized by a lack of work or activity; quiet. “Business was rather slack””

“A Slacker is someone who works as little as possible. A terrible message for our target audience”

“Slack means slow, sluggish, or indolent, not active or busy; dull; not brisk. Moving very slowly, as the tide, wind, or water. Neglect, reduce, tardy”

Every definition and association we can find of Slack is negative”

All of the above is true. The only real question being, is any of it it relevant? Does this mean Slack would be a terrible name or a great name? Most naming committees would laugh Slack out of the room if anyone suggested it, given all the “negatives surrounding the word – and the complete lack of “positives”.

And let’s not forget the team member who will wrongly assert, “No one will take us seriously with a name like Slack”.

Obviously Slack is a highly effective name. It’s clear that a names’ successes doesn’t depend upon positive associations, nor is it harmed by a plethora of negative associations.

Slack works because it addresses the problem; the reason the tool is needed -to take up the Slack. And because Slack is naming the problem rather than the solution, it stands out and demonstrates that something different is happening at Slack. Its associations that would wrongly be deemed “negative” for a name, like Slacker and Slaking Off, means the name Slack has stopping power. And a sense of humanity demonstrated through humor. It’s engaging, different, human and unforgettable. It demands and receives your attention. What more could you want?

How can you make sure a name like Slack doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor of your next naming project? We’ve spelled it out simply and precisely in the 28 pages of the Igor Naming Guide.

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