At Pardot, we originally named our product Prospect Insight, thinking we were cool with a product that was abbreviated PI (Note: You can still go to prospectinsight.com and it redirects to Pardot). Only, at the time, we didn’t understand that it was a bad idea to have a product name separate from the company name. As we started to gain traction, customers would refer to the product as Pardot, and not Prospect Insight. Eventually, we realized that to our customers the product was one and the same as the company, and we dropped the product name Prospect Insight.
The company name and product name should be the same. It’s hard enough to build one new brand, let alone two simultaneously. Make things easy and simple: keep the names the same.
What else? What are some more thoughts on making the company name and product name the same?
6 thoughts on “Make Company Name and Product Name the Same”
I love that the app for Pardot is still pi.pardot.com. 🙂
Interesting perspective. I work for a company who’s name used to be the same as our biggest rev-gen product. We’ve since rebranded the organization’s name to something that is better aligned with our mission statement and values. I think it was the right move for our organization. We are in the business of creating consumer apps so we have multiple product names. This post may have been geared towards enterprise companies who have one shot to name their company/product effectively to take it to market.
David, you are correct. For most B2B technology companies this master brand approach is a solid idea. Branding architectures try to optimize the customer’s view of the product in relation to the company itself and the other products in the company’s portfolio. That is why the master brand approach should be considered.
We wrote a blog post about this topic, “Should Products and Company Name Be One in the Same?” you can find it at http://arketi.com/blog/products-company-name-one/
Keep up the good thinking and sharing.
David – This is interesting because we just went through this exercise internally as the market knows us as LaunchSource, yet we have technology products that can be used as standalone solutions.
Before we presented this to customers or investors, we realized that we were all getting confused within our team. I would encourage teams to do the “beer test” if they really want to change the name of products. Fill up a pitcher of beer, have your team drink it as your marketing person or CEO gives the presentation on each of the products, and when the pitcher of beer is finished ask each person on the team to describe the product and services that they provide (with the new names). It’s a fun and great way to get your team engaged and come to the conclusion of whether a name needs to be changed or not.
With that said what is your recommendation for different levels of services? Should it be Growth, Build, Scale? Level 1, 2 or 3? What are your thoughts here? How do you introduce new evolutions of a product or service?
For a new company with a new product, using the company’s name for the product name may help in establishing the company brand but will quickly become problematic. Consider the following:
If the company launches a second product in the same market, what will it be called?
If the company decides to launch the same product, emphasizing different capabilities and, perhaps at a different price, in a different market, what will it be called and what happens when new segment customers Google the company and are linked to the original product?
What if the company decides to sell the product through a third party distribution partner? The third party will not be happy when their prospects are linked to original company through a Google search instead of their company.
Will the product’s name be acceptable or problematic in a non-English speaking company? Will its name project the proper message? Prospects are likely to accept any company name but may be less forgiving about a product name.
If the product turns out to have some major deficiencies or misses the market, the product can be dropped or its name changed without impacting the company’s name.
If the product is sold to another company but the company wants to continue, there will be market confusion if the product owned by someone else and the original company have the same name.
Once starting down the path and “training” the market, it is very hard to re-name a product later. Using one name for both is short sighted.
I had not considered a different product and company name as double-branding work, but your perspective brings clarity to the dilution and confusion it could lead to.