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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 guidelines or nomenclature rules and create a useable nomenclature system to help future-proof the brand from the inside out.  

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.

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 brand and naming patterns, inconsistencies, and opportunities so we could begin to transform a scattershot naming process into an easy-to-implement and strategically viable set of naming and nomenclature guidelines.

As one of our first deliverables, we worked with Ciena to map out and create nomenclature & naming guidelines to be used for future products and that could also be applied to existing products. We then used these guidelines to develop names for several of their new products. As Ciena’s offerings and scope continued to expand, we delved into brand positioning work to better define how Ciena's positioning and messaging as it progresses from a technology supplier to a service provider that delivers more robust client-centered support.

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