It’s official, we’re changing our brand name. At a very peculiar time – just before launching our first beta version. Ask how much our dev team likes this decision (hint: it’s not much). 😇 But in order to create the best football game app ever, we need to adjust the brand to match the vision.
A very brief history lesson
The adventure started almost two years ago, when a growing irritation about how silly and old-fashioned fantasy sports and football games were, escalated to the degree that a startup had to be created! The intention was to simply kick ass in the previously mentioned arenas, in a modern and easily accessible way. PowerPoint slides were made. Wireframes drawn. Calculations calculated. Phones rang. Voila! A company with initial seed funding was launched into existence and here we are, about one year into the development and A LOT has happened.
First and foremost, our ambition has grown considerably. Our vision centers on making football more fun. This vision has been EXTREMELY useful for us in order to make big product decisions. And those product decisions have ultimately led us to feel that the current brand didn’t reflect who we are.
The horrors of finding a new brand name
Not exaggerating. It’s a darn horror. At one point we kind of gave up and said “Meh, let’s focus on something else. The right name will come in time. Maybe.” We’ve gone through hundreds and hundreds of names. I’m pretty sure it’s close to a thousand. We used all the word generators. Tried all the sports and football associations. Made up cool sounding names. Funny sounding names. We’ve decided on the perfect name maybe three or four times, only to discard it in sheer panic. We almost proceeded to register a trademark we came up with on a rooftop bar in Saigon over a beer. Blam! Taken in the UK. Next! Below is a list of some name suggestion highlights from our ordeal:
- Football Galaxy
- and imagine a thousand more… maybe we should sell the full list to the highest bidder… hmm. 🤔
Start with a problem statement
So, how did we do this? We started with a problem statement. We already had a brand name that was fully stocked with problems. Here’s an example:
Early 2018 we decided that we need to change the brand name X into something else, because of these main reasons:
- It’s a generic name, easily mixed up with other more traditional X companies.
- It focuses too much on the X aspect of the product and gives us too little room to maneuver in creating an entertainment app for football lovers.
- It contains a number. The survey we ran show that only roughly half of the respondents pronounced the name “X”. The rest translate X into their native languages. This means we’re leaving it up to each and everyone to decide our brand name, which of course isn’t ideal.
- Since the brand is easily mixed up with other X companies, it also proves a challenge from an SEO point of view. Unnecessarily hard to compete against all the other X companies.
- It’s simply not fun enough. It doesn’t reflect the joy of using the product or the love of the game.
So, based on this problem statement, we came up with the following short and simple requirements for the new brand name:
- Easy to say
- Easy to spell (when heard in conversation)
- Easy to remember
- Provides associations in line with the soul of the product and vision
Find a new brand name toolbox
So, if you’re trying to find a new brand name while in full sprint towards a product launch, you’re going to want to have some help. Here’s a list of some good things to keep in mind and tools to use.
- Get a lawyer. They’re not cheap, but you’re gonna want one that speaks and reeks of trademarks so they can think of everything you can’t.
- Check if there are already registered trademarks. http://www.wipo.int/branddb/en/ and https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/welcome are your friends.
- Use the generators. Gosh they are many. At the end of the day, we didn’t end up with a name stemming from one of these name generators, but it was close a few times.
- https://www.dotomator.com – this is my personal favorite. I can recommend using it in a later stage. Start by using some other generators to get inspired. Then chuck in starts and endings into this one and you’ll be served with a bunch of suggestions for which domain availability as also been checked.
- https://www.namemesh.com/company-name-generator – quantity is the thing here. Get loads of suggestions based on a keyword.
- https://namelix.com – found this one now while making some research. Seems to be pretty good. AI-driven and all. Actually really good. Dang! Where were you when I needed you!?
- Check domain and social accounts availability. https://namechk.com is your friend. And hey, don’t let a snatched .com address keep you away from your dream name. Each situation is different so you need to treat this on a case-by-case basis. Think like the customer. In which scenarios could a missing .com or another important top domain cause problems for this customer. You might end up doing customer support for another company if you don’t think this one through!
- Run a survey. But don’t just ask which name your target group prefers. Ask how it makes them feel. What they associate with it. Don’t forget the negatives. Doing surveys without skewing the results is a science of its own and I’ve seen pros fail by asking too leading questions. Don’t be like them. Always consider how your question could be (mis)interpreted. And remember that language affects the result. Both tone and the actual language. Ask an advanced question in English to an audience where English is not the native tongue and you got a problem. We used https://www.pollfish.com to run our survey. Pretty impressive tool. Nice customer support, easy to use interface and lightning fast results. It’s not going to make your most eccentric data professor jump of joy, but it’s probably good enough. It was for us.
- Let it marinate. In our case, we weren’t super excited about this name at first, but it grew on us and right now we’re 100% sure it’s the right name for us.
Finding a new brand name is a very difficult task. We also had a very tight deadline to do so, which made it even more stressful. But take your time. Don’t go with something your gut doesn’t agree with. I always say gut feeling is data too, in fact gut data is so advanced that we monkeys don’t even understand it. Listen to it. If it says your new brand name is wrong, it is.
We decided that our new name should be TrophyRoom. Here’s how we describe the new name:
- A TrophyRoom is a modern and cosy physical space.
- A TrophyRoom is a place of achievements.
- A TrophyRoom is a place where you bring your friends.
- A TrophyRoom is a place of pride.
- A TrophyRoom is a place of happiness.
So, go out there and find your new brand name today! It’s not easy, but it can be done! Until next time, tata!
Zach @ TrophyRoom
Excellent article. As someone who has been through this a few times, I fully understand the challenge.
Well done and thanks for sharing your process.