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Ciena

Creating a new nomenclature that helps customers make sense of a large and unwieldy product portfolio – and the internal processes to go with it.

Communicating about a brand’s inherently complex offering is an inherently complex task. 

Take a decades-old company with no history of naming or nomenclature rules and create an actionable nomenclature system to help future-proof the brand from the inside out.  

We started by identifying Ciena’s taxonomy of offerings and developing a comprehensive view of all names in play. With the full set of information organized and at hand, we were able to identify patterns, inconsistencies, and opportunities so we could transform a scattershot naming process into an easy-to-implement and strategically viable set of guidelines.

Ciena is an American telecommunications networking equipment and software services business. We’ve worked with Ciena’s brand team on numerous projects as strategic and creative support. Like many technology companies, Ciena faced several branding challenges that are unique to this industry: how to clearly yet competitively name and speak about their highly technical offerings, and also how to reposition themselves as the technology itself is constantly evolving. In this case, the best way to move forward was to first step backward to understand the intricacies of Ciena’s core portfolio. As one of our first deliverables, we worked with Ciena to map out and create nomenclature & naming conventions to be used for future products and that could also be applied to existing products. We then used this information to develop names for several of their new products. As Ciena’s offerings and scope continued to expand, we then delved into brand positioning work to better define how Ciena talks about itself as it progresses from a technology supplier to a service provider that delivers more robust client-centered support.

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