A brand’s name is one of its most important elements. So, what can be learned from a multi-year journey to get the outward expression of a brand to match the internal promise and potential?
In 2018, I joined Screencast-O-Matic, a company with a vision I believed in. The company had dedicated fans and a great product that was truly easy to use. The team also believed in our purpose and had a culture of innovation, leading to constant growth and development.
The catch? The name. The once descriptive, Screencast-O-Matic, had practical challenges and did not fit the long-term vision. Amongst fans, it was difficult to say and type. It raised credibility issues with potential customers, especially on the business side, where we were less known and needed more visibility.
While the company did have a challenging name, it also had tons of potential. In the early days at Screencast-O-Matic, it was clear that there was a talented team, a product with promise, and users with purpose. To me, that was the recipe for big things to come.
Luckily, the team understood the misalignment between the name, the company, and the suite of products we had become, and embraced the need for change. They were also committed and willing to put in the time and effort necessary to get there — since rebranding (and renaming) is seldom easy.
Over the last several years, we conducted brand research to learn more about user sentiment and to pressure-test our potential ways of responding to that learning. We surveyed customers and conducted in-depth interviews with our target audience. We examined the competitive landscape. We conducted focus groups with people unfamiliar to our company to understand how they reacted when hearing the name “Screencast-O-Matic” for the first time. We then repeated this with potential new names, positioning statements and visual design systems. The results were clear: people overall did not connect with our current name and were excited about where the brand could go.
After putting in significant time, effort and due diligence, I’m excited to unveil our new name that truly brings together all aspects of our business, products, and purpose: ScreenPal. The new name provides many benefits, including making it easier to say, spell, understand, and type. It’s a name that I am proud of.
- See the potential. People often get hung up on the “now” and forget to see the road ahead — the potential. Foundational values and vision are more difficult to change than the manifestation of them. If that core is strong, accept challenges in other areas and believe you can address them. It’s worth it.
- Do the research. It’s easy to get misdirected by personal bias — and to limit your hypotheses too early, validating something that could have been better. Start with the goal of understanding first. Do the research and ask the right questions.
- Take the time to get it right. For us, this wasn’t a straightforward, fast process. But changing names and rebranding an existing company shouldn’t be taken lightly. We used this as another opportunity to understand users better and fine-tune our brand story. Taking the time helps you learn, hone your skills, and gain confidence in your decisions.
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