Product and Company Name Should be the Same

Back when we started Pardot in 2007, we didn’t know any better and decided that our product needed a separate name from our company. After tons of brainstorming we finally arrived at a name that we liked and was available: Prospect Insight. Since Pardot didn’t mean anything to anyone, we felt that our product name needed to be more descriptive, hence the name. Also, being a little nerdy, we liked that Prospect Insight could be abbreviated PI, hence lots of jokes about pi (3.14159…).

After several years of trying to build brand equity in both the company Pardot and the product Prospect Insight, all our customers would call up and ask for help with Pardot, not Prospect Insight. Customers didn’t care what we called the product as everything was simply Pardot. Instead of trying to fight it, we embraced it and rebranded our product as Pardot. That is, the company and the product were one and the same. To this day, you can go to as well as and see remnants of a disconnected product name and company name.

For startups, the product and company name should be one and the same.

What else? What are some more thoughts on keeping the company and product name consistent?

12 thoughts on “Product and Company Name Should be the Same

  1. That is a great insight… I have seen it both ways. I loved our product name at BroadSource, “OneSource.” It was not unique, but it was unique in our space. Early at Vendormate, it seemed liked we brainstormed names nightly, the best of which might have been “VendorOver”… thanks Jessie. Our product was originally “Vison,” but is now called “Credential Manager.” I like “Vision,” but I’m bias as I think I came up with it (keep me honest, Joey and Andy). I am now with Clean Hands Safe Hands, which might be a tough “product” name, but as a company that monitors hand hygiene in hosptials, the name tells a great story to our customers. Clear, concise, and memorable, just tough to spell out everytime in URL and emails.

  2. Couldn’t agree more! This is something that I learned while at a big company, UPS. They spent 25+ years building brands for “next day air” “2nd day air” etc…and after millions of dollars spent the awareness among it’s most loyal business customers was 50-70%. They studied the reason and it came down to that the customer didn’t care! All they cared about was can UPS solve their problem of getting it when/where they needed it. This was the driver for “what can Brown do for you?” and building a single brand for UPS. Great post as always!

  3. Totally agree with this philosophy.

    We are working on a new offering that also in the Twitter arena — but instead of trying to brand it under @TribeBoost we are calling it @ThoughtFlame.

    That was not our first instinct, but after research and reflection this was clearly the right thing to do — even though it requires more work (new name, new website, new social accounts, audiences starting at zero on said social accounts, etc, etc.)

  4. We had the same situation when I worked for a Telecom software company back in the 90’s. People didn’t never quite connected with the name of the company, they just knew the name of the product – Telemate Software. After several years the company change its name from ‘Complimentary Solutions’ to Telemate.

  5. As a company that fully intends on having multiple products, we’ve fought with this a little bit. but after 6-months of (mostly) consistent messaging, customers generally understand the difference between the company name and our product names.

  6. Definitely one brand. It takes time, effort and money to build a brand; trying to build two at once and then trying to get customers to understand the difference between the two is just the wrong approach. I know, I tried doing it back in the 90’s and our results with the additional brands proved that one is strongest.

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