New tech doesn’t come with a pitch
In the future, devices read our minds. They’re all but invisible. We don’t have to program complicated menus with remote controls that always seem to disappear. Technology takes its cues from us — not the other way around. A gesture control ring that enables you to control your environment offers a glimpse of this future.
When ënimai found us, they had a great product — and a terrible name. Beyond the pronunciation problem, their name sounded complicated and reminded people of an unpleasant procedure. With no idea what to rename their gesture control ring, and a go-to-market deadline approach, time was of the essence.
Keep it simple
Speak in gestures
We worked with the ënimai team to pinpoint the specific objectives for naming the product. First, they needed something that rolled off the tongue and felt human. In a landscape populated by the Thalmic Myo, Kinect, and VTouch, a warm name that’s simple to say would stand out.
Second, they needed a way to talk about the experience of using the device. The ring can interact with the environment in a lot of different ways — turn down the lights, turn on the volume, turn up the heat — but we didn’t want to talk up what the ring could do. Description can weigh a name down. We wanted to telegraph effortlessness instead. In short, we knew the brand name needed to feel as natural as the experience. It needed to evoke autonomic motion.
Nod was the clear winner: a simple, positive gesture and the most effective way to say “yes.” It’s an unconscious movement, a fundamental piece of communication, and a tip of the hat. It’s fun to say and works as a verb, which doesn’t hurt its chances of ending up as a household name, either.
After the team signed off on Nod, Character, a design firm in San Francisco who introduced us to ënimai, developed a visual identity that extended the concept of the natural, gestural experience. We’ve come a long way from clap on, clap off.