The Problem:


When we met the team at this Sidewalk Labs-incubated startup, they had been operating under the name Flow — a placeholder they really liked. With a strong connection to seamless motion, Flow is one of those short and sweet names that everyone wants to use (but no one can really own). Our task: to develop a name that could communicate the idea of transit data while also getting over the hurdles of legal screening.

It’s always tricky to let go of a name you’ve been living with and adopt something unknown. On top of that, the team wanted a name with a simple and short URL. But really, the biggest challenge we were working with was the language typically used when thinking about transportation. We had to steer away from words tied to any one mode of transit — bus, train, bicycle, etc. — as well as words that felt too closely tied to leisure travel. We wanted to speak to developers without excluding other audiences. Above all else, we wanted to capture the energy and movement within a city.

The Fix:

Take it to a higher level
Speak to integration

After developing a series of rounds of names, we worked closely with their team and the good folks at Moniker, to narrow the options down to a short list. At the end of the day, we were making a decision between two really great names — names that were strong in different ways. We helped the CEO think through the implications of the options as we tried them each on for size, imagining the brands they would establish. Coord won by a hair. Here’s why:

As a name, Coord leaves a strong initial impression because it is at once familiar and foreign. This is because it has two clear reference points. The order in which you pick up on them is determined by how you come in contact with the name.

If you hear the name first, the immediate association is “cord” or “chord.” The “cord” association works because Coord helps to draw a line between where people are and where they need to go. This applies to both end users and businesses using Coord’s API. The name evokes the colorful lines on rail, subway, and bus maps. “Chord” brings to mind music, dexterity, and different elements coming together to create harmony.

If you first come in contact with the name visually, you see the first half of coordination or coordinate. At the highest level, this is the primary benefit Coord is providing their customers. It’s a coordinating force, allowing businesses to integrate disparate transportation technology into one cohesive transit layer.


More you say?