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Starting as an integrator: branding as the key to success

3 April, 2019
Vera Podosinovik

The world is changing and adapting new technologies. The market shows the shift from telematics to IoT making service providers and hardware manufacturers develop innovative products. 

On Gurtam blog, we share technical expertise in articles describing Wialon in practice and new solutions developed by our partners. But there’s not much to it if you lack commercial skills to promote and sell the emerging technologies. That’s why in this blog post we turn to marketing and brand management as done by your colleagues from the USA. BlueArrow Telematics traveled the path of a multi-utility company and felt every rock bottom of naming a product/service/company. Well-tempered, they answer the question: “How to choose a name that will promote business and make the profit”? 

BlueArrow Telematics is a dab hand at naming. The history of the company dates back to 1991 when it was started as CELLULAR IMAGES. Almost two decades after the foundation it was known as GPS Mobile Solutions. Today the company operates under the name BlueArrow Telematics. The founder Stuart Lamm has a simple explanation: “With our strategic sights set on expansion, we believed it was vital to officially change the name of our firm to BlueArow Telematics.”

Changing the company name for the second time, Lamm decided to bring into focus the constant development of telematics and stand out from competitors. “In both cases, a term used in my company name became a commodity, not a distinction,” Lamm admits. “This time we needed to land on a name that will outlive the rapid changes that have and will continue to impact the telecommunications industry”.

If you puzzle over a name for your business, here are useful tips from Lamm complemented by Gurtam.  

Make it a big deal

No matter whether it’s the first or the third company name. It should be seen as an event of global importance every single time. Celebrate it with great pomp. Let the world know about your product or service. Don’t miss the opportunity to show the mission and values of the company and create a positive image for clients and partners.

Pick a name that has room to grow

The principle “one business – one service/one product” can be the beginning of the end. Focusing on a single aspect is not the best solution for players of a fast-growing market like telematics. In the case of our partner, CELLULAR IMAGES was limited to phones; GPS Mobile Solutions was about location. The current name BlueArrow Telematics is more flexible and places no restrictions on the business expansion.    

Pursue uniqueness in the net

Coming up with a company name, think out of the box. Let the Internet users find your company online without much effort. Google offers 1 420 000 000 results for the search query “GPS”. A more unhackneyed term like “BlueArrow” will certainly increase the online visibility of a website.   

Connect the Dots

A business name should reflect its activity and give an idea of services/products available. GPS Mobile Solutions specialized in tracking vehicles. When Lamm decided to add new services to the list (safety, maintenance, and driver performance programs), the company name was changed to BlueArrow Telematics. 

Following the example of Stuart Lamm, we decided to prepare our own naming tips for companies planning to enter the international market.

Keep it short

Deciding on a company name, try not to exceed the limit of 5-10 symbols. It’s not Scrabble: the longest word won’t bring you more points.

Many famous companies dropped some words from the original name and were right. Apple was initially incorporated as Apple Computer. Founders of Skype shortened the software name twice: Sky peer-to-peer became Skyper, and finally Skype. 

Keep it simple

What do Nike, Canon, Coca Cola have in common? (in addition to huge profits and world fame). They are easy to spell, easy to pronounce and easy to remember.

Don’t make your customer suffer while getting his/her tongue around the company name or trying to google it with no idea how to spell it. Eyjafjallajökull is a great name for a volcano, but a death warrant for any business.

Make it meaningful

A randomly chosen word or a name of your childhood pet is highly questionable for business. The right name should be both catchy and meaningful, and not conflict with what the company does. Picking a name, try to put a story or a certain message behind it.

Jack Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter, explains: “We looked in the dictionary for words around it and we came across the word ‘twitter’ and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information’, and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was”. 

Think future

Even if your business starts in a garage in a small town, don’t make a company name local. Narrowing it to a geographic location is not the best solution.  Who knows maybe in a couple of years your business will grow several times and enter the world market.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, wanted to create the largest book store. And the name of the world largest river fit in perfectly reflecting the potential business scale and ambitions of its founder. So, making up a company name today, think about the future and leave a space to grow and to develop. 

Take a .com domain name

A .com domain name is your lucky ticket to the world of serious business. Plus, customers tend to have more trust in companies with a .com domain extensions rather than .org, .net, etc. The problem is that the holy place is never empty. The desired domain name can be unavailable, as in the case with eBay. Initially, Pierre Omidyar, the founder of the mentioned company, wanted to register it under the domain echobay.com. Unfortunately, it was already taken by a gold mining company. And the name was shortened to eBay as we know it today. 

And enjoy the process

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, recommends: “Have fun! We created the Virgin brand in the 1970s, so you can imagine how people responded to the name. On one hand, it was the age of free love; on the other, much of society was still very conservative. By naming our brand Virgin, we challenged the status quo and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. (And it served us well in terms of generating publicity!)”

A name is a powerful tool that can both make and break any business. It’s a voice talking customers and partners about your product or service and highlighting your values and uniqueness. Make this voice heard in the crowd to fill your niche and become a key player on the market.  

What’s your experience in naming a company or white-labeled product? Tell at marketing@gurtam.com or leave comments below and share your experience with Gurtam community.  

The original article is written by Stuart Lamm, the President of BlueArrow Telematics, and published in Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine. 

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