What happens when you start a company and realize that you hate the company name you’ve chosen? Are you stuck with the name? Should you change it? How important is the company name? Given the number of people that misspell the word Priceonomics, we confess that at times our name gives us trouble even though we love it dearly.
We encountered a great post on the subject by Balanced Payments (formally known as PoundPay) so we thought we’d share. Unlike most posts about the “inside baseball” of startups, this is actually an honest account and practical guide for changing your name, rather than generic company public relations. They explain:
One of our earliest clients, Zaarly, did some great user testing, which indicated that their users thought PoundPay was a scam.
We had started to dislike the PoundPay name for other reasons –mainly that there were too many lewd jokes that could be made with the name – but the feedback that we were potentially harming our customer’s business was alarming.
Ultimately, they changed the name without too much disruption and now power the payments at number of successful marketplaces like Crowdtilt and Reddit. It’s interesting to note that Balanced is a business-to-business sales company. When it changed it’s name, it only had to notify a handful of customers. On the other hand, changing the name of a consumer web company might be intractable after it reaches a certain level of recognition.