Our Jive instance is called Matrix (matrix.juniper.net)
Short and catchy and make sure the URL matches
Avoid Jive's product nomenclature since this has changed multiple times (ClearSpace -> Jive SBS -> Engage).
Be aspirational about what you want the system to provide or be at your company
Riffing off of your company's culture never hurts
Avoid anything that is going to box in or limit what people think your solution delivers, and think both current employees as well as newcomers.
To Kevin's point above, if it isn't short and catchy, it will be like naming your kid Alexander - it will get a nickname, and not necessarily one that you get to approve of or that carries the appropriate meaning.
I agree with both Kevin and Tracy. As a communications person first, I strongly believe everything should tie back to your overarching corporate brand. But beyond that, approach your design with a clean slate so that your site is more about what you want to be, not where you're at now. We've done that with our site which aligns with our corporate brand, but otherwise looks, feels and reads very different from any other intranet we have today. Below is a sample of our help community. In our old way of thinking, we would have called it something like "User Training Resources Library" instead of the simple and "Self Help."
Naming your community is also a great opportunity to "get social" and run brainstorming session(s), crowd-sourcing, or a contest to name the site. Of course the irony is you don't yet have a social network to do any of this, but the old school tools will suffice for now. If you are thinking through adoption of the platform you are probably already looking to pull in "early adopters" to help your roll out be a big success. Consider using those early adopters to help name the site. Getting their buy-in is critical and by having them involved in activities such as this makes it "their community" instead of a corporate roll-out. That pays dividends down the road!!
We had a very traditional hierarchy as a large company so we conducted a contest but we made sure that the 7 or 8 choices we gave were all cleared with legal and the management team. So those details just depend on your culture and level of empowerment.
Happy to discuss further if you like.
Social Edge Consulting
I agree that branding names should be kept short and simple, but another option you can offer to your stakeholders would be to add to character into your Community brand. As part of our adoption strategy, we have an avatar character that helps users learn the basics, tips and tricks to Community from our "Community Ambassador." A visual with a character may help!
We used the ideation module in Jive itself to collect and vote on ideas. Before we named the community, we just called it Jive. The nice thing about the ideation is that people can vote up as well as down. We ended up choosing the name that did not get any down votes, which we thought was very important for a global company, since some people were voting down due to the fact that the name would be hard to say in their language or have awkward connotations. Coincidentally, that one also ended up with the highest score.
As far as addressing the concerns of legal, internal comm, etc., we kept our contest open ended. We didn't promise that we would pick the one with the most votes necessarily. Nor did we have a drop-dead date by when we would close the voting. That gave us the leeway to close it when we thought we had a good option, and avoided the risk of having to go with the highest vote at a certain point in time. We also encouraged the people who had concerns about the appropriateness of the options to vote and tell others to do the same. Without being sneaky, they got their voice heard, and we all ended up happy.
Our community is named Vox, by the way. It's from the Latin Vox Populi, which means "Voice of the People."
This is how we did it.
We had some brainstormsessions about the name and our desired goals for use with the early adoptersgroup.
We chose to name our Jive "Meetingpoint 2.0", because people were allready used to the name Meetingpoint for our former sharepointsystem.
Then we had a logo designed with a pay off "explore your circle".
We tied the introduction of "MeetingPoint 2.0" to an allready planned event (our annual inspirationevening).
Invited all participants (45) the next day to join the group "Inspirationevening"
Put up posters in our different companies with photo's of the early adopters, with the text "Meet me @MeetingPoint"
Made some fun movies about using Jive in the Getting Started Space
Within 4 weeks we had our desired 150 members sign up.
Now we're 5 months later. I believe everybody knows the name. About 20% is active user.