Global, Founder Stories
26 August 2013

The Name-Change (Whats in a name?)

A name, merely, differentiates something. 
It is a way to call attention, much like a color, which can then emote or influence feeling. This is why we are so careful to choose the right name, whether 
for brand or baby.
 
Products are named, but the brand has much more depth than the symbolism of its logo or its identity. The logo recalls the brand, and is the door that opens to how the consumer feels about the product. A name acts as a trigger that actuates true meaning of the brand, without cause for digging deeper. Thats why it is important to get it right the first time.
 
The Finalists at MC all chose names befitting their company...but will that name stand the test of time, or the chosen market?
 
"By any other name would smell so sweet?"
 
Name-changing is a big topic. One that is debated and agonized over in terms of timing, risk and diluting of the brand. Changing a company or brand name, termed rebranding, is not a decision to take lightly. When companies do decide to change their name there is usually a very good reason behind it (hopefully, a positive one), and is very timely with the growth stage of the company.
 
The name-change is being experienced right here with the class of 2013 and we wanted to learn more about Finalists decision to shedding their old title.
 
 
MedAware, formerly MedAlert, Improves healthcare through elimination of prescription errors.
 
Good timing is always something to consider when changing your name. You need to look at customer loyalty, brand equity and make sure the change is worth the return in value.
 
Gidi Stein explains MedAwares name-change:
MedAlert was already taken and associated with an existing product - so a change had to be made. We were lucky that Jeff Tagen (a finalist here at MC) owned the domain MedAware.com and was kind enough to give it to us for free. We are an early stage company - we don't yet have clients, so decreasing brand equity was not a problem.
 
Ultracell Insulation, formerly ProCell, works with existing manufacturing facilities and distributors to rapidly bring cellulose technology to market with inherent cost, sustainability, and quality advantages.
 
Understanding your target market and the scope of the market is important. If a company wants to tap
into another region it is important to be able to differentiate your brand with the competition.
 
Jon Strimling describes reasons why Ultracell changed their name:
We changed our name because we started looking into opportunities in Canada and discovered a Canadian firm that was called ProCell. We also wanted to infer higher quality, which we achieved with UltraCell (we hope!).
 
Lilypad Scales, formerly Home Analytics, helps people in wheelchairs have more independence and control over managing their health with an affordable home wheelchair scale. 
 
Choosing a name creating tangible human emotion can make a huge difference when introducing your product into the market, making your brand relatable.
 
Molly Farison describes changing her company name:
We changed our name from Home Analytics to Lilypad Scales because we needed our name to be less descriptive and generic and more emotional and unique. Lilypad Scales describes the scale making it sound like a pleasant product to have in the home. Our scale is very thin so people in wheelchairs can roll onto it easily, just like a lilypad.
 
Easily, formerly Fairweather Chef, partners with companies to offer employees fresh, healthy, prepped meal kits for easy home-cooking. 
 
Choosing a name that allows you to have room to grow your product line across markets is a good tactic.
 
Heidi Kim talks about her company name:
While getting ready to get into the market we really needed to think about the name more. Our product was initially meant for fairweather fans of cooking. Some people had negative associations with the word 'fairweather', and we also realized our product was attractive to a broader customer base, including expert chefs.. We wanted our name to be flexible in case we changed company direction, without becoming pigeonholed. Easily is shorter and easier to understand. The new name captures the value proposition and the feeling we want people to get, providing products that are easier to prepare and are helpful to everyday life.
 
Each of these Finalists are at the early stages of their company. They have the opportunity to make changes in their structure and their name because they have very low brand equity. If they were at a mature level of growth it would be very difficult to rebrand because of the brand association. MassChallenge is a great environment for Finalists to make these strategic changes for their startup because of our support system, guiding and mentoring entrepreneurs.
 
Thanks to the Finalists for sharing their story! #MCEngage13

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