Names with stories: The story behind Globalme.net
Emre Akkaş, CEO of Globalme, talks about the company’s brand philosophy, why did they get the domain name Globalme.net and what are some future plans for the company.
What is the story behind Globalme?
Hanna Golota and Emre Akkaş, the co-founders of Globalme, were living in the US. Since they were bilingual, they were doing some linguistic work for a few language solutions companies. The localization industry was growing exponentially in the early 2000s, but there was a major lack of resources. To fill this gap, they started a company while holding on to their day jobs. As things started picking up, they moved to Canada to focus on Globalme full time. After a few years, Globalme became a full-service localization services company and expanded services into data services to support development of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Globalme grew to be one of BC’s top 100 companies and was acquired by Summa Linguae Technologies in 2019.
When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on Globalme?
It wasn’t easy. We were initially called uniQode but realized we needed a more catchy, meaningful, and easy-to-remember name. It took us 3 months as we used name generators, wrote down feelings that could lead us to different names, played games with friends on name generation, and a bunch of other things. We still have the shortlist we considered at the time. Looking at that list now, I cannot believe how lame some of them were. I’m glad we landed on Globalme :)
How did you get the domain name Globalme.net for your brand? Why did you select that one exactly?
Globalme.com was not available, unfortunately. We tried to acquire it from the existing owner as he/she wasn’t using it, but could not. We decided to invest in globalme.net as it was the exact match and .net was the best alternative at the time (2009) — all the exotic domain extensions did not exist at the time.
How has owning Globalme.net affected your business? Do you own any other domain names?
Being an exact match domain, it worked fine. We did invest a lot in inbound marketing and, especially in the beginning, it allowed us to own the searches for the company name. We did end up in a bit of battle at some point with globalme.com, as they launched a site that looked very similar to ours and copied our services. When we contacted them they asked for a ridiculous amount of money to transfer the domain. We hired a legal council to open a trademark claim and they backed off and took the site offline.
Who is your target customer and how is your brand name helping in reaching them?
Our target customers are the businesses who want to reach a global audience. These are mostly large enterprises with multilingual outreach and operations. Our name worked really well as it includes the global component, it’s easy to remember, and people thought it was personable.
How do you keep your brand consistent across different channels online and offline?
We invested quite a bit early on to establish colors, fonts, tonality and documented them clearly in our internal wiki. Everyone in the company was aware that we had to stay consistent as we communicated both visually and verbally. We believed brand promise is not only visual, so we created internal training programs on aligning our staff on client communication. How do we respond when someone complains? Who do we reach out to when we receive a complaint? How we treat our clients is our real brand.
Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?
We were already ready for working from home once a week and had a significant remote workforce (about half our company). It has not affected us very much and thankfully our growth continued since we serve the digital workplace, which was on the lucky side of the pandemic.
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
As founders, we were very aware that marketing was our main interface with the outside world and continuously reminded our entire staff of its importance. When the company was 20 people, we had 3 people in the marketing team. Our entire growth has been via inbound marketing and word of mouth, so we closely tracked data and tested continuously to see what worked and what did not.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general, and when it comes to branding and naming?
A brand is the most valuable asset for a company. It allows you to show off your strengths, attract new customers, and retain current ones. When/if you decide to go to investors and/or acquisition, it will have a direct impact on how they will value the business. Keep it top of mind from the very beginning and invest in your brand. It is not only the name or the logo. How one perceives a brand, what they expect from a brand, is the most important part. Sure, you think of the swoosh when someone mentions Nike, but think about the feelings that it sparks in your brain. What about Amazon? Apple? HP? It’s the founders’ responsibility to clearly define and build these feelings and share with the rest of the team religiously so the brand can be “one.”
Where do you see your business in the future and how does your brand name fit into that vision?
We got acquired, so it’s the new owners’ decision to take :)