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C_TEC. Naming.


More than a Tech Rally

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: it’s tough to change a name. Fortunately, when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce came to us to change the name of one of their centers within the Chamber, the center was still quite new and malleable.

The center in question started off with a fairly innocuous name: the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation. The name was somewhat accurate, as this group works to promote the role of technology and innovation in our economy. However, the name could suggest that the center itself is creating new technology, rather than convening key people and groups to promote technology and advocate for innovation-friendly policies.

Further, there is an unavoidable tendency at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—as in many large organizations—to turn long names into acronyms. And this particular long name had turned into “CATI” (pronounced “catty”), which was an unpleasant association for the smart, talented, and decidedly non-catty team heading up the center.

Our primary goals for the name were to convey the center’s work with technology, to highlight their position as a convener, and certainly to avoid negative associations.

A key challenge for this innovative center was to fit in at the very traditional and historic U.S. Chamber, yet also be able to stand out and stand alone.

After a broad exploration of names ranging from traditional, descriptive names to bold, single-word abstract names, the team landed on Chamber Technology Engagement Center—C_TEC for short. The long form of the name fits comfortably in the traditional environment of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, while the shorter name stands out and stands alone well, with “tech” built right into the acronym. Created with this meaningful acronym in mind, the center’s new name takes control of the acronym situation, eliminating the potential for negative nicknames. Last but not least, “Engagement Center” positions the center as a convener, which is key to their role.

While a name change isn’t easy, it is certainly easier when you make the decision to do it earlier in the life of your brand. C_TEC is still in its early years, but we know its name will carry it far into the future.

Client: US Chamber of Commerce

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