Our new venture The Foundation Coffee House is the result of a longstanding relationship between NoChintz and regional entrepreneur Adam Chapman, founder of the Heald Green-based QDos Fitness gym.
But Foundation hasn’t come about by chance, it’s a perfect partnership and one which will bring a new cafe concept to Manchester. It’s about taking the best of our skills from NoChintz – strategy, interior design, branding and communications – and fusing them with Adam’s own business prowess along with his extensive coffee knowledge – thus, creating the perfect business blend.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll attempt to distill our thought process and explain how we’ve gone about it so far.
Part one: Naming the baby.
When starting a new company, the company name can be one of the most difficult elements to determine. Whatever you decide to call your company, what’s most important is that before releasing anything is that you do your homework! Are there other companies that already bear the same or similar name? Are they in the same area of business? Is the web url free? If your brand has global reach, double check the meaning in other languages to avoid a Fukuppy.
Occasionally, a name jumps up and hits you in the face but how do you decide upon a name when this doesn’t happen?
It’s important to define the context in which the name will be used. For example, if the brief is to come up with a name for a coffee shop, the initial approach may be direct; think ‘Full ‘o’ Beans’, ‘The Daily Grind’. However, if I ask you to name a coffee shop that serves artisan coffee with a subtle but unique serving experience, your response would differ dramatically. How often is the artwork for your favourite band depicted with musical notation? Never. Because it would represent a linear interpretation of music and it doesn’t trigger an emotional response.
We assembled a team of creatively diverse individuals and embarked upon a journey to discover how the coffee shop would define itself, what the core offering would be and in particular, what would make it different.
Using a series of word association exercises we began to generate words that describe the key features of the coffee shop; high-quality, well-sourced products, well-designed environment. Amongst other elements, we also looked at the benefits to a potential customer; grow a network of friends, feel part of a community.
All of the words generated by the team were written down. The primary aim of the exercises were to generate the maximum amount of stimulus in the shortest space of time. No right or wrong ideas and we threw the devils advocate out of the window.
Within the space of an hour, we’d generated over 250 words that were associated in some way with the coffee shop offering. Using these words as a base, we searched for antonyms, translated the words into other languages, asked friends and further researched the word meanings in order to generate a shortlist of possible company names.
The shortlist was distilled down to three names that:
a) were not in use by other companies
b) had an available web url
c) best represented our interpretation of the coffee shop
We designed identities for all three names and made suggestions for imagery and typographic styles to help build an emotional attachment and to give the name context. The visual and typographic style of one identity was combined with the name of another and The Foundation Coffee House was born.
As the name suggests, Foundation is a solid platform on which to build something amazing with one clear goal; to serve the finest coffee in a way that no one else can. Foundation could not have been created by one person. It represents a true collaboration between business minds, graphic & interior designers and strategists.
Next time, the focus will shift to the design and development of the identity.
Part 2: Identity
Part 3: Strategy
Part 4: Promotion
Part 5: Process
Part 6: Response