by Christopher Finn, Research Manager
A standard practice across the business attraction industry, code names are a critical component of BNE’s work. From shareholder concerns to competitive advantages, the companies we work with demand confidentiality. Once a company gets a code name within BNE, it becomes rare to hear the company’s true name again. But how are the names chosen?
The project could come to us with a name already in place, but if not, a quick brainstorming of BNE staff begins. The project manager provides the team a few basic details: company name, stakeholders names, products, etc., and then the magic happens. (And by magic, I mean usually a Seinfeld reference). We try to create at least two degrees of separation from the code name to the company to thwart any would-be sleuths. So, for better or worse, we’re pulling back the curtain on our “super-secret “ process!
Project Goalie (Sentient Science, advanced manufacturing testing software) Company CEO’s name is Ward Thomas. Cam Ward + Tim Thomas (Both NHL goalies) = Ward Thomas = Project Goalie
Project Hello (Alita USA, Dubai-based steel tube manufacturer) Shortly after the successful Welded Tube project announcement we were contacted by another steel tube manufacturing company. “Oh hello there second steel tube company!”…turned into this.
Project Flux (Name withheld) A company whose power requirements were so large (120MW) that we felt they needed a flux capacitor to run the place!
Project Pilgrim (Yahoo! data center) This one from the company. One of the project leaders was from South America and was not familiar with the east coast of the United States…except for it being the location of the Pilgrims’ arrival.
Project Wave (Originally dubbed Project White Wave before BNE was involved) (Muller/Quaker yogurt manufacturing facility) This is a multi-corporate endeavor, including Pepsico. White Wave…Pepsi. Some are so obvious in hindsight it’s sad we didn’t crack them first.
Project Bayside (Name withheld) A company executive is named Mario = Mario Lopez = AC Slater, champion wrestler for Bayside High School on Saved by the Bell.
I even had my six year old daughter name one. Project Shadow (Name withheld) Working from home one day we began working with a company whose name reminded me of the word voodoo. I turned to my daughter and asked her what she thinks of when I say “voodoo” and she said the Shadow Man from Disney’s Princess & the Frog.
We ensure that a code name could never lead someone back to the actual company, but now that you have an understanding of how we think, it’s fun to try!