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Say hello to Zello. How we picked the name (1 of 3)

Why change?

The team agreed it was time to scale the company and Loudtalks didn’t fit the brand we wanted to create. Not enough people smiled when we said, “Loudtalks.”   Changing names is messy and means delaying other need.

If you are interested in the details of how we made the change, read on.

Early adopters love the Loudtalks app, which has social traction. Unfortunately, the name change meant abandoning 24,000 Facebook “Likes” and nearly 7,000 Twitter followers.

Goals for the name

Picking the right name was the most important step and took us a few months. The branding forced us to clarify our target market, our users, the immediate value proposition and our strategic positioning. Then, we outlined the brand personality and voice.

We wanted a name that was short, simple, easy to spell, memorable and global. Many companies have the same requirements, which meant the best domains were taken or expensive.

Developing candidates

The first step was brainstorming ideas within the team, collecting hundreds of ideas. We also looked for themes. One favorite was an onomatopoeia, giving the company a brand based on how the name sounded. For example, we liked Blip, but it was taken.

We narrowed our internal list with a vote from our team of six. The purpose of the vote wasn’t to pick a name, but to agree on the obvious cuts. We wanted more so we opened a contest on http://crowdspring.com, spending $400 for another 400 names (which included Zello).

Filtering down

We checked domain availability with a whois bulk check tool and marked up another sheet with favorites. Combining these two tasks shortened the list. Next came checking the prices of the favorite domains, which cost between $10 and $200K (!!!).

The candidate list shrunk to 50. Everyone on the team shared the names with family and friends. One interesting discovery: developers often voted on the same names.

We narrowed to about 15 names. We ran a Google AdWords test to compare click-through rates using different copy combinations around b2b products. We searched the set for trademark problems and looked harder at domain availability, then went to a broader set of people for feedback testing.

Decision time

Zello eked into the last cut, then gained momentum. We found the zello.me domain available and grabbed it and some others, then made a gut call deciding Zello fit our company the best.

Zello push-to-talk lets you talk and listen to one person or a group while keeping your eyes and hands free for a speedier and richer experience. We hope you agree the name works.

Topics: branding, marketing, Uncategorized

Written by Bill Moore

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