Is Your Company Name All That Important? Why These Entrepreneurs Changed The Name Of Theirs

Is Your Company Name All That Important? Why These Entrepreneurs Changed The Name Of Theirs

Why I changed my company’s name

A year ago, I made the choice to change the name of my company. We had been known for several years by another name (note: I do not mention the name as I only want you to remember our new name) and changed our name to Efferent Labs, Inc. last year.


The idea and desire to change our name did not come easy or without cost.I wanted to have a name that better reflected the products and goals of the company, rather than a name that was hijacked from another company. At the time I chose the original name, I owned a well-established company, Raland Technologies, and used the first part of its name (Raland) because it was easier to quickly and cheaply adopt.


However, confusion occurred. Potential investors would look up “Raland” online rather than doing a search for our full name, and finding the other company. I was being questioned by potential investors if they were being asked to invest in both the other company and the new one.


This confusion convinced me that I needed to change our company name, and I got my Board of Directors approval to do so in late 2014, just prior to our win of the 43North business competition. Although I had the approval to change our name, when we pitched at the competition we were going to need to do so using our old name. We took too long to make the change, and the wheels were already turning on publicity.

At that point I was confronted with a major decision. We won the competition under the old name but still needed and wanted to change. The amount of media attention afforded with winning the largest business plan competition in the world would be enormous. Interviews and write-ups would offer great publicity.

I chatted with my Board and we decided to wait on the name change until 6 months after the 43North competition, giving us time to best capitalize on the old name, and then change our name when news cycles caused by the win died down.

Did other founders have similar issues

I started wondering if other companies also went through a similar dilemma when deciding to name, or change the name of their company.   I reached out to two start-ups that were getting ready to or recently had changed their name.

I had dinner with Dr. Irfan Khan a month ago and he mentioned he was about to change the name of his company. At the time we spoke he was in the same situation I had been in two years ago.

He is founder and CMO of a start-up company, Circuit Clinical (formerly Empirican PRN), and a recently announced semi-finalist in the 43North competition.

I also reached out to a newer startup that only launched in July of this year. Joe Ulisano started what is now Kick Ad Marketing, in July of this year. Originally known as SocialHire360, they quickly changed their name after launch. Within 60 days, they had not only recognized a need to change, but they did it.

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