One of the requirements when we acquired KISSinsights was that we change the name. As much as we loved the KISSinsights’ name, a new name would gives us the flexibility to extend beyond collecting insights.
Having been through naming exercises several times, I realized it would be an opinionated, emotional process. All startups want a name that will help success, or at the very least won’t stand in the way it. And unlike most startup decisions that are temporary and iterative, naming is a lot harder to reverse.
So we began our renaming exercise with some trepidation. Like most companies, we were tempted to go with a cookie cutter name. Finalists included SnapTabs and BuzzBits.
Our VP of Product, Jason Meresman, suggested Qualaroo. My initial reaction was “We can’t have a name like that!” It went against my conservative nature to blend in… Then I realized that blending in is the last thing a product should want to do.
Jason laid out a compelling case for Qualaroo.
- It’s unique
- It’s fun to say
- Qual can mean qualified, quality, qualitative
- Roo can connect to a memorable kangaroo image
Of course, like all important decisions we wanted to get input from some customers and peers. We shared several potential names and asked for feedback and/or suggestions. Most people had the same reaction that I initially had. They gravitated to names that sounded “ordinary.” A few people sent persuasive support for Qualaroo, but they were in the minority.
So we were left with the decision to go with a safe, cookie cutter name or something more distinctive. Not surprisingly, we chose Qualaroo. It seems to strike the right balance of whimsical and serious. And most importantly, tests show that people really remember it.
We also decided to make the free version much better (custom questions, 3X more responses per survey, full targeting functionality), so expect to see the Qualaroo kangaroo hopping up on a lot more websites…
If you are going through a naming exercise, I recommend that you fight the urge to blend in. Here are a few resources on naming that were useful for us: