Albatross around Our Neck -
Perils of Choosing a Wrong Name

Well this is the mistake which no one wants to make, but many end up doing so. Either due to over planning or due to hasty decisions, but this is one of the biggest mistakes any one can make and we learnt that the hard way.

Starting up had always been our dream, and leaving a comfortable corporate job and daily hustling was something we were really prepared for. But that was not enough.

Everything starts with the name, and that’s where we had a hard time. We were very clear on our business idea, in which direction we wanted to move, and our future plans, but still a name has to be the one thing, that can reflect everything we want to be and also available (considering so many new websites coming these days and with the domain management companies, it’s hard to find a good domain name at a good price).

After struggling through a long process, and unable to find a good name, we decided to go with the Shakespeare Quote: “What’s there in a name”. So, we started thinking of names out of the blue which could be in some way related as well. We were stuck on ZupiterG, a zingy name..right?

The Z in Jupiter will make it appealing and ‘G’ has been associated with Craftsmanship in Irish Culture. So the name was decided and the journey started. By the way, we are a Contemporary Home Decor Online Store (I know what you are really thinking now!)

After we launched, with the help of online and offline marketing efforts, we started gaining good traction with orders and queries, and we happily completed our initial targets. But after the first three months, when we were expecting the sales to grow, we observed customers are having difficulties in remembering our name. Those who succeeded couldn’t type it properly, and personal referrals were out of the question.

This could have been a big indicator for us, but we were all boosted by the thoughts of converting an adversity into an opportunity, and if people are not getting our name we will tell them so many times that they won’t forget us (Wishing something magical to happen here). I guess motivational movies and pep talks do have that effect on you.

It was the month of February, when we were having a meeting with our mentor Mr. Vashist, he asked us to consider again, and he was so serious that we gave it a big thought. We told him we are in love with the name (and feel it will turn out to be right), and he quoted, is it for you or for people, lets ask them.

We were now back to the thinking game, and we started calling a few of our customers, talking to them, getting their feedback on the name. By the end of 2 weeks, it was clear that we had made a mistake and the name is bit confusing. So the question was, what will we name ourselves now and what will happen to all the hard work that we have done so far. But as the saying goes, the best way of getting ahead, is getting started.

Lessons Learned from this:

  1. Don’t hesitate to take a decision, and stick to it but not too much, as it can have the reverse effect. Be Flexible
  2. A Name can be the defining thing for your company, and especially in the B2C domain, so make sure it appeals to your Potential customer base.
  3. Never ever have a name that is so obscure, that customers have no idea what it means.
  4. Think of a name that addresses your short term goals, but never forget the long term picture as well.
  5. And last, don’t take the opinion of everyone in naming, as not all people would love the name and will suggest you can do better. Well sure you can, but will you wait forever for a perfect name.

P.S. we have successfully changed our name from ZupiterG.com to Homesake.in , and are re-working on branding and marketing . Though we lost business of 1.5 months, but we are happy to have offloaded the Albatross.

Ending on a funny note, a conversation with one of my School teacher a few months back..

Teacher: So, what do you do?
Me: Working on my start-up by the name ZupiterG.com
Teacher: Ahh, so many young kids have software and web development companies these days.!!
Me: (With twisted face)..Its not a software company
Teacher: I never knew you had an interest in Aeronautics
Me: What? It’s a Contemporary Home Decor Online Store!!
Teacher: Ok. What was the name again.

Feedback and Suggestions Welcome..!!

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