Just wanted to chime in and share few thoughts around this change.
As a background, we have two important goals at Squadhelp. First, we want every contest holder to achieve the best possible outcome in their branding project. Second and equally important goal is to offer a fun, fulfilling and rewarding experience for our Creative community that makes it worthy of your precious time. We are committed to investing resources in improving our platform to help us accomplish the above two goals.
There has been lot of discussion about Percentile ranking in the past, and understandably there are different opinions about this method. Our philosophy continues to be that this metric provides an indication of your ability as a creative to "connect" with the contest holder. Some contest holders want very simple, classic names. Others want out of the box, intriguing names. Some contest holders are not sure what they want. Therefore, there is no single naming style that is "better" than other. However, your ability to adapt your submission styles based upon what works for the contest holder will allow you to more successful at SH in the long run. This metric also discourages "spray and pray" tactics such as using Name Generators and submitting dozens of submissions at the same time, hoping one of them will stick.
I would also like to address couple of specific concerns that were brought up earlier:
a) The percentile score is calculated based upon past 6 months. So if you have been with SH for 12+ months and are concerned that you have an unfair disadvantage, please know that this metric is only looking at your submissions and ratings accumulated over past 6 months.
b) A new creative can not achieve a Tier A creative status unless they demonstrate a consistent pattern of high ratings in multiple contests. This is because new creatives are first given a "limited access". During this phase, they are not eligible for Tier A classification even if they get some high ratings in first couple of contests they join. Only once they have participated in a minimum number of contests, and accumulated a minimum number of high ratings, are they upgraded to "Full Access". The Tier A option is only available to those creatives who have already achieved the full access, and they continue to meet one of the three methods mentioned in Grant's post.
c) Participation in high award contests does not give you better percentile score. The percentile score is not calculated based upon the contest award - it is purely based upon what percentage of your entries are being liked by contest holders, in comparison to other creatives who participated in the same contests.
We understand how frustrating it can be to lose the Tier A status. We also understand that the percentile score metric alone can not be used for Tier A classification. Therefore, we have offered few different methods that can help you gain this status.
When a CH chooses a "Tier A" option, they expect most creatives in their contest to submit thoughtful, well researched ideas based upon their brief. We believe this change will align us better with the expectations of CH, and will help us reduce contest abandonment.
We will continue to measure the impact of the change, and will continue to make additional improvements that allow us to be even more effective in achieving the two goals I outlined above.