These are not the droids you are looking for.
For the last few years, Med-tech pioneers X-Biomedical, have been developing a portable visualisation system that has the potential to disrupt microscopy within dentistry and medical surgery.

The combination of high magnification, ergonomics, image capture, portability and affordability will resonate with practitioners in developed markets but also have the ability to democratise surgery within the developing world.  Additionally, it can have huge applicability within secondary markets such as military and veterinary medicine, education and even aerospace.
GoScope surgical microscope

But what to call it?  Our friends, innovative healthcare agency The Considered, have been helping to shape X-Biomedical’s digital strategy and asked Inqdrop to lead the brand naming process.  You see, it’s a specialised gig, a scientific art, and we have proprietary tools and techniques that help us cut to the chase and create distinctive and effective brand names. “Great, kid, don’t get cocky”.

A good brand name distils a product’s benefits, values and personality into a distinctive moniker that resonates with its target audience.  But when we ‘namescaped’ the surgical microscope ecosystem and analysed user personalities and behaviours, it became apparent that these principles had been largely ignored by X-Biomedical’s competitors.  

Many competing products had seemingly random alpha-numeric 'names', that at best tally with a droid in Star Wars and at worst mirror a ref. ID in a dusty office supplies catalogue. “I’d love to demo our new OMS 2360 microscope for you”, doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue does it?  The number doesn’t even look like it belongs in a sequence!  Come on…

And of course any new brand name should have buy-in from internal stakeholders, ideally beyond the boardroom.  If staff enjoy saying a name, and repeating the story behind it, sales and marketing activities can only benefit. 

But naming is so subjective that achieving internal consensus is often the most challenging part of the process, which is where our NameDek® tool excels. 

NameDek naming cards

We have dissected the provenance, root language, theme, structure and phonetics of hundreds of famous brand names and by asking clients to pick their favourites, we’re able to identify the name characteristics that are important to them.  

X-Biomedical’s shortlist of brands was dominated by short, single-word names such as Puma, Gucci, and Monzo.  Additionally, many of their picks were dynamic or playful, such as Zoom, AirBus, Tumblr, Mailchimp and Spanx.  These were useful sign-posts that would guide us during the name creation process.

Perfect brand names seldom exist.  Based on their NameDek selections, we asked X-Biomedical for a list of criteria that their microscope name should meet.  At the forefront were: evocative, smart yet friendly, a short single word, and science or nature themed.  When we scored their favourite brand names against these criteria, there were always gaps.  

For example, Tesla (named after Nikola Tesla the Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer and futurist) is a great brand name but at its inception, couldn’t have conjured up mental images of cars in consumers’ minds.  In terms of hitting X-Biomedical’s other criteria, however, it does supremely well.

In other words, if your new brand name scores against most but not all of your naming criteria, you’ve still done a great job.

At this point in the process, we disappeared for a week, researching and exploring themes and translating, compounding, portmanteauing and misspelling words and proper nouns until we had a sizeable short list of great potential brand names.  

In spring this year, X-Biomedical launched GoScope™ in the US. The name is simple but dynamic. It checks most of X-Biomedical’s naming criteria and aligns with the product’s USPs. Importantly, it doesn’t sound like any other surgical microscope in the market. We love it.

Stormtroopers using Google

Now back to Star Wars.  Is R2D2 a good name?  Well it doesn’t tell us much about the owner (other than he’s probably not human), but here’s the thing - it has a pair of ‘2’s! Now this might look inconsequential but it creates a rhyming effect and cadence which most of us like.  Taking this further, the rhyme-as-reason effect is a cognitive bias that makes people both more likely to believe statements that contain a rhyme AND more likely to remember them, something to bear in mind when creating brand names.  

It’s also a much better name than that of his mildly annoying humanoid buddy, C3PO.  The clunky transition from C to the 3 is no fun to say - fricatives followed by approximants seldom are. It’s no coincidence Luke shortens the name to Threepio

Both names sound prosaic next to Luke Skywalker, as of course they should.  His forename sounds like an all-American rebel (think Cool Hand Luke) but it’s also a shortened version of the Latin name Lucas.  We can see what you did there, George.  His surname is heroic - a super celestial metaphor for gravity and death defiance.  And a much better reference point for a portable visualisation system that looks set to re-write the rules of microscopy.

If you have a naming project that warrants a Jedi mind trick, or, you’d just like to know more about us, we’d love to hear from you.