How I almost didn’t name a joint venture

For as much as I like to talk to others, I find myself lacking in the “speaking up” department. This time, I’m glad I did.

In the early spring of 2021, I was an account executive at Martin Waymire, having a great time at the Michigan public relations and marketing firm. One client that I was excited to support was a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, and Opti, a technology company. Together, the groups were using cloud software to solve stormwater issues nationwide, using sensors.

Yes, this is “sensored” content.

What I loved about this account was how much I enjoyed the end goal of the project. Across the nation, stormwater infrastructure is incredibly outdated, and the technology to solve this problem, considerably affordable. A way to automate our way out of flooding and other issues. Win-win in my book.

This story begins on one of several calls we had with these clients, which I was fairly new with. Most of my work was preparing a social media strategy that placed emphasis on informative content to educate users on this technology and its use. However, none of which could be acted upon, since there wasn’t a name for this joint venture yet.

When I entered one of our bi-weekly discussions, the main topic was deciding on a name for the joint venture. Together, our teams went through, line by line, the 10-15 names that were picked out for this joint venture. I can’t remember them all now, but I’ll put some ideas below – none of the ideas caught my eye:

  • Infrastructure Technologies Inc
  • Stormwater Technologies
  • Stormwater Cloud Technologies

You get it the picture. To me, these lacked the punch that was going to inspire people from this project. This was something completely new that would change stormwater infrastructure forever!

While I was on the call, I did some digging online, trying to come up with some ideas that were unique and brought together the issue and the solution, all in one. After a few ideas in my head, one sounded perfect to me.

Brightstorm.

Brightstorm brought together the problem and a “bright” future through the use of sensor technology to release water flow ahead of storms, allowing a steady stream of water and preventing the flooding of communities and destruction that water can cause. A word that said “hope” to me.

Of course, I extended the name to Brightstorm Infrastructure. I liked how it sound, and with a Slack message, so did my boss, who told me to bring it up to the group.

Unfortunately, I was too nervous to say anything out loud, and all of a sudden, the team are through names and starting to discuss other topics. There’s about five minutes left in the meeting at this point. Now, I’m going back and forth in my mind to try and bring it up. I haven’t talked all meeting, and I’m not sure if I can make the pitch this far out of context.

As the meeting comes to a close, I decide to drop Brightstorm Infrastructure as the last bullet under the list of names in a live document. And just like that, the meeting is over.

My thoughts after the meeting were, “well I put in my two cents.”

Later, in the summer, I had left Martin Waymire for a new position in Denver. One day, my previous boss told me the news. “They went with your suggestion.” Too soon to find anything online.

It wasn’t until the late fall of 2021 that I thought about Brightstorm again and made another search attempt, and found it.

So here we are, and I got to find out more about Brightstorm Infrastructure! With content also available on other parts of The Nature Conservancy’s website.

Overall, this was a tremendous learning experience for myself. If I had not spoken up, I would have not experienced the delight of learning that a name I suggested, was chosen. Although I’ve had a chance to name websites, brands and lead the full development of 360-degree campaigns, this was different.

Looking back, it’s a lesson for me, and for others, to speak up (or in this case, type something into a live document at the end of a meeting) and share ideas that you are passionate and confident in, or even if you’re not confident in them at all.

That is all, yay infrastructure!

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