This has been on the cards for some time, probably the best part of two years. We’ve gone through denial, acceptance and finally, action. Why the change? Type ‘Hive’ into the LinkedIn search bar, and it returns more than 2,000 results. That’s why.
So, what on earth were we thinking when we named the company? In short, we were three engineers who just wanted to make great products. We had seen enough teams wasting extraordinary amounts of energy and money on self-indulgent branding when the underlying product or service still sucked. That was not how we wanted to do things, and so we plucked a name out of the air we felt best described our setup and got back to work. In hindsight, we may have been a little too lean in our approach.
As time went by we started to pick up on some not-so-subtle signals that our name had a few drawbacks. We would frequently run into other companies named Hive and receive almost daily Tweets that weren’t intended for us. Then British Gas went and acquired an (at the time) emerging connected home startup called Hive, shortly after which I found myself saying ‘nope, not that Hive’ all too often in new introductions. Someone even called the studio once to ask for help installing their thermostat.
Regardless, our reputation and team have grown over the past five years, and more often than not we go toe-to-toe with the highest profile players in our space. Last year alone we won pillar clients against ustwo, IDEO, Fjord, PwC and MadebyMany. And this in spite of never really doing much to promote ourselves or our work.
More recently, we have started to share our ideas and opinions, and it’s been a great experience both for us as a business, and personally for the people behind the content. However, with each notable success, we can’t help feeling that we’re investing too much into a name shared by too many other companies. It’s diluting our long-term impact. And so, it’s time for a change.
Which leads me to our new name, Elsewhen, meaning ‘to another point in time’. If Hive was about how we were set up, Elsewhen is about why we were set up. For us, it captures the essence of what we do — working alongside forward-thinking businesses to help carve out a better path to the future.
As a team, we feel fortunate to work with so many different businesses, both in scale and sector, and each with their own grand ambitions to change the world. In 2017 alone, we helped an FTSE 100 company connect their satellite network to new customers around the world; we worked with a global construction company to transform predictability on large-scale construction projects; and we helped a startup design systems for tracking and analysing air pollution.
It’s this transformative nature of technology that the name Elsewhen aims to encapsulate.
Renaming is only the first of several steps. But, we didn’t want to wait until everything was perfect before releasing it. So of course, we’re following a leaner approach and rolling out what we have, when we have it. For now, we just switched out the logo. Can’t get much leaner than that. Next items on the backlog are new brand identity and site. Until then I’ll leave you with this.
After we decided to move ahead with the rename we thought it best to register Elsewhen as a trademark. There’s a handy website where you can do the whole thing online. Below is a screenshot of step two which helpfully illustrates the various types of trademarks available. Guess what they use for their example? I think we’re doing the right thing.