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Choosing the Right Name for Your Employee Portal


Chosing the Right Name for Your Intranet

By Mark Anderson, CEO/CFO | Posted Oct. 31, 2016

What’s in a Name? Everything. So be very intentional when you choose a name for your employee portal or intranet.

Here’s why: The name of your intranet can—and will—have an impact on your entire organization. It’s like a label, and it carries a message about your business, including the values, personality and other aspects that make up your corporate culture. The right name can make your intranet more interesting, appealing, and more utilized by employees. The more employees use your intranet, the more it can increase their efficiency, productivity and job performance—all of which affect your bottom line.  

If you already have a well-established employee portal, don’t change the name. Switching in mid-stream could cause confusion and undermine your corporate identity. But if you’re building a new intranet or revamping your old one, by all means, focus on choosing the best possible name. Be committed to coming up with a catchy name that employees will like and remember. This is an important part of creating an intranet that staff will find more approachable, engaging and enjoyable to use. 

Things to Consider 
You should think very strategically when exploring potential names. As you compile a list of possibilities, consider your corporate culture and what type of name will be a good fit. Something more formal might work better for financial institutions. But a name that’s more casual and fun would be ideal for businesses with a more laid-back atmosphere.

Don’t be afraid to get creative. Ideas for the name can match the goal of your intranet, illustrate a company value, or reflect your culture. A transportation company might consider options like the Depot, Info Interstate or Grand Central. A bank could use the Vault, while a hospital could opt for the Heart Beat. And almost any business could use a name like the Hub or Connection (if they’re not already taken). 

You can go for a name that’s descriptive, cute or clever. As a real-life example, TripAdvisor aptly picked Passport for its intranet name. The key is to keep it brief, clear and appropriate for your corporate image. And choose a name that will still fit as the business evolves in the future. If all else fails, you could base the identity of your employee portal on an acronym for your organization’s name. York University of Toronto, for instance, uses “YU Link.” 

But what if the name you settle on isn’t catchy enough? Just combine it with a tagline and mascot to help make it stick. An intranet called "Sherlock," for instance, could have a short tagline like “The place to find information.” The mascot could be a bloodhound sporting a sleuth hat, trench coat and magnifying glass. Merging a name, tagline and mascot gives you endless possibilities for creating the perfect persona for your employee portal.

Implementing the Name
Selecting an intranet name can be a multi-faceted process. In some cases, one person, such as the CEO, CIO/CTO or marketing officer may make the decision. As another approach, you can do research to come up with as many potential names as possible. Then run a short list of possibilities past senior managers, marketing staff and other key personnel. Their feedback can be invaluable toward pinpointing the best option. 
Or you could hold an intranet “naming” contest to let staff get their creative juices flowing. This type of broad involvement can generate a greater sense of buy-in and ownership of everyone. It can also be an effective way to start promoting the new name. Once you’ve officially adopted the new intranet name, be sure to reinforce it by using it consistently. The marketing staff can promote it in a launch campaign. Employees can mention it in conversations. Your internal documents should also reference the name whenever possible. 

Ultimately, an employee portal can be a powerful tool for information, communication and internal branding. So spend the time and effort to choose a name that will make people look forward to using your intranet on a daily basis.


Previously:Help Employees Get the Most From Your Intranet  Next Up:Enhancing Regulatory Compliance With Your Intranet