Trust in your autonomous offering begins with your name

Trust in your autonomous offering begins with your name

Naming your autonomous product, service, or company is challenging—and choosing a name that conveys trust is even more so. But customer perception starts with the introduction, so it’s important to take the time to consider the following.

Factor in your brand personality
Are you Mr. Spock or Oprah? Though one is fictional, both are considered trustworthy—yet they have different approaches. Spock is literal and tells it like it is. Oprah appears more focused on inspiration. Before you begin brainstorming names for your autonomous offering, decide which personality suits your brand best.

Brand personalities that are more like Spock might incorporate words that directly spell out what the company, product, or service does. An example is AutonomouStuff, a shopping hub for all things autonomous vehicles. They offer stuff for the autonomous industry.

In contrast, Oprah-like brands could incorporate words that embody the spirit of the offering, but don’t spell it out quite as literally. For example, Waymo was created as a hybrid of two words in its inspirational mission: “a new way forward in mobility.”

Choosing a name that authentically suits your personality is an important step toward a trustworthy name.

Discover how you’re perceived
Survey your employees, customers, referral partners, and even your social media followers about words and phrases that best embody your brand and instill trust. Ask respondents to select all that apply from a list of positive words and phrases. Not only will this help you brainstorm with decisionmakers armed with some ideas in mind, but it’ll help you uncover words or phrases to avoid, as well. Based on the words that are chosen, or not, you’ll also gain intelligence about whether the offering is seen as trustworthy to start.

Sound it out
Once you’ve narrowed down your list down to the top three name choices, vet them like they’re applying for a government job. Do internet and trademark searches for companies or organizations that are using the same or a similar name in the autonomous industry. You may not care if the name Cuvette is a band, a book, and a self-help website if you’re launching technology to improve the driverless experience. But if it’s also the name of a competitor, it’s likely not the name for you.

Don’t forget to check out potential acronyms—and what alternate connotations they might have. Once vetted, frequently say your name possibilities out loud to hear how they sound when spoken. Pretend you’re the voiceover personality for a TV spot for your product, service, or company launch and say your name options as part of the call to action. “Contact us at YOUR POSSIBLE NAME dot com.” Does it roll off the tongue? Is it memorable? Does it seem credible? If not, nix it from the list.

Spending the time to find a trustworthy name from the starting line will save you headaches later when you’re off to the autonomous races.

eGuide: Marketing your autonomous brand

Instilling trust through your marketing and branding activities

Marketing optical design for autonomous vehicles

Marketing the leading optical design solution for autonomous vehicles

You may not immediately think “optics” when considering autonomous vehicles, but optical technologies such as lasers, lidar, and omnidirectional camera systems are the backbone of autonomy. These technologies enable a driverless vehicle to maneuver the roads, warn against collisions, detect objects in blind spots, and see things that even the human eye cannot. GA Creative client Zemax offers a software suite that enables companies designing optics for the driverless space to get to market quickly. Following are several ways we’ve helped Zemax get the word out to optical and optomechanical engineers about its offerings for autonomous design.


Native advertising
Native advertising is content that looks like editorial but is paid for by an advertiser. According to a study from IHS on behalf of Facebook, by 2020, the majority of mobile display ads will be native and represent $53 billion in advertiser spend. The study also says that native ads deliver up to 60 percent more engagement and up to three times greater retention than other digital advertising.

Zemax has seen success with native advertising driving leads to its website. Because native is longer content than a traditional digital or social ad, it allows the company to go deeper on content, explaining how its software works and its benefits. Zemax was also able to add in illustrations, figures, photos, and video to help tell their story.

We’ve found that native advertising is more responsive than traditional display. Click through rates can be two or three times higher than display ads.


Like native advertising, eGuides let you explain how your autonomous product or service solves a problem in the industry in greater detail, and with all the images and diagrams you’d like. They’re also excellent for lead generation activities as you can gate them with a lead-capture form to collect information you’ll use later for a nurture campaign. eGuides can be about specific product features or take a more visionary look at the autonomous industry, depending on what type of audience you’d like to target with the guide.

We helped Zemax create a robust and successful marketing strategy that puts eGuides and other content resources front and center in an easy-to-access library on its site. Digital and social ads drive key targets to the guides, which, on average, get thousands of downloads per quarter. That’s a significant number of qualified leads with which the sales team can then cultivate relationships to move prospects through the funnel.


Webinars continue to be a popular way to get the word out about your self-driving offering. According to, 73 percent of marketing and sales leaders say webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads. Opt to host a webinar on your own with GoToWebinar, Adobe Connect Webinars, Livestream, ON24, or any of the other do-it-yourself webinar sites, or work with a media partner to host and promote the webinar to their subscribers. This not only adds an additional layer of credibility, but it gives your webinar promotional activity a boost.

With so many webinars happening now, be sure to have a compelling topic that leads with your customer benefit versus being self-serving. Ask a lively and knowledgeable speaker to talk through slides that include plenty of visuals and minimal text. Slides should punctuate what the speaker is saying, not transcribe it. Rehearse beforehand to discover any issues beforehand, then use headphones so the sound quality is clearest during the live webinar. Watch the clock, and always leave time for a few questions. Record your webinar and offer the recording as an additional gated resource on your website after the fact. Finally, you can get more mileage out of your webinar content by turning it into an eGuide or native ad—or both!


Promoting customers
Another effective way to communicate the intricacies of your product or service for the driverless space is let your customers do it for you. Case studies are a great way to do that, but often times, customers are too busy with their own marketing activities to devote a lot of time to yours. What they often can do, though, is provide you with a quote or some insights about how their teams are using your product for a blog you then post and promote through your own social channels. Seeing the application of your technology in the real world often helps prospects better connect the dots on how and why they should check out your offering as well.

eGuide: Marketing your autonomous brand

Instilling trust through your marketing and branding activities

Five TED Talks people in the autonomous industry need to watch

Five TED Talks people in the autonomous industry need to watch

Autonomous cars and solutions top headlines by the hour: To say the industry is hot is an understatement. If you work in the self-driving space, you don’t have a lot of time to peruse for the most relevant TED talks. That’s why we’ve done it for you: Here are five TED Talks relevant to those creating and marketing products or services in the autonomous space.

  1. How to build (and rebuild) trust

    “If we can learn to trust one another more, we can have unprecedented human progress,” Harvard Business School Professor Frances Frei says in this insightful talk that’s incredibly relevant to those in the autonomous industry. Frei discusses her stint at Uber after the company had completely lost consumer trust—and how trust can be established or rebuilt with the help of three key components.

  1. Optical illusions show how we see

    In autonomous vehicles, lidar, sensors, cameras, and other systems “see” for the driver. In this compelling talk, Neuroscientist Beau Lotto explores how the human eye and brain work together to interpret what’s in front of you—and how optical illusions come into play.

  1. How can you change someone’s mind?

    Trying to sell a potential customer on your automated product or service? Attempting to convince a team member to try a new idea? Anyone who’s tried to change someone’s mind at work could benefit from this short, animated TED video. Educator Hugo Mercier shares the three elements that make up a simple formula for finding consensus.

  1. Why the secret to success is setting the right goals

    In this talk, Engineer and VC John Doerr discusses a simple goal-setting metric that’s worked for Google, Intel, and even Bono. He talks about why many of us are setting goals the wrong way or not at all—plus how to fix that—which is relevant to companies large and small in the driverless space.

  1. What it takes to be a great leader

    As your company is finding its footing in the autonomous industry, it’s important to foster a great culture from the inside out. And that starts with leadership. But what makes a great leader? Leadership Expert Roselinde Torres shares her take on leadership in this informative talk.

eGuide: Marketing your autonomous brand

Instilling trust through your marketing and branding activities

The demand for trust in the self-driving space

The demand for trust in the self-driving space

The autonomous vehicle space offers significant potential for businesses from car companies to software and hardware manufacturers to lidar developers to camera makers and far beyond. But as an industry, autonomy is also faced with a major hurdle in the way of widespread adoption: mistrust.

Trust is synonymous with safety in the industry. According to an April 2019 Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, half of U.S. adults think automated vehicles are more dangerous than traditional vehicles operated by people, while nearly two-thirds said they would not buy a fully autonomous vehicle. Around 63 percent of respondents said they would not pay more to have a self-driving feature on their vehicle, and 41 percent of the rest said they would not pay more than $2,000. Yet, experts still project autonomous vehicles to be a potential $65.3 billion industry by 2027 (Market Research Future), including the ecosystem of solutions that support bringing driverless vehicles to market.

In a TEDxHousesOfParliment talk by philosopher Baroness Onora O’Neil called “What we don’t understand about trust,” O’Neil encourages us to be aware of the difference between trust and trustworthiness. “We need to think much less about trust, let alone about attitudes of trust detected or mis-detected by opinion polls, much more about being trustworthy, and how you give people adequate, useful and simple evidence that you’re trustworthy.”

Not only is marketing your autonomous product or service about standing out in a crowded industry, touting anything autonomous begins with establishing trust. Presenting your company, product, or service in an accurate, authentic way, from compete messaging to content development to the way you solicit and listen to feedback, will help propel you to the front of the pack…and stay there.

Read our latest eGuide to discover five ways to exhibit trust while building awareness about, growing leads for, and contributing to the bottom line of your offering for self-driving vehicles.

eGuide: Marketing your autonomous brand

Instilling trust through your marketing and branding activities