“Your brand is your name, basically. A lot of people don’t know that they need to build their brand; your brand is what keeps you moving.” – Meek Mill
Ever wonder what’s in name? There is a quite a lot in a name, actually. There’s a first impression, a definition, a meaning, and a misunderstanding. There’s also a concept, an idea, an explanation, an innovation, an identification, and much more. There is so much wrapped up inside a name. When it comes to a business, so much rides on a name, especially in the beginning.
I’m a thinker and a creator so I like unique, innovative words. Which can be fine, but they can also create issues. In my experience, when creating a company name or a product name, simplicity is important. That means pronunciation, spelling, etc. Making up fun words is great but can create some challenges when starting out. The marketing can be difficult when you are first starting to build a brand and a business. When we started out search engines were in their infancy and still evolving. Google was yet to become a verb in the English language. SEO and SEM were still being sorted out. What was clear, however, was that the online world was here to stay. And, that the online population was entering words into the search bar. Because the search engines were not that sophisticated yet, proper spelling was important. So, if you created a business or product with a hard to spell or pronounce name, it was difficult to be found.
We started as Go-Go Babyz, not too difficult but the hyphen and the “z” did create some issues. The main thing with the name was that first impression. We could be a baby products company or a gogo dancer service – trust me we got that question. But that was a minor issue. Our golden egg was the gogo kidz travelmate. The next was the Infant Cruizer. Asa you can see, we liked the letter “Z”. We also released some accessories; a car seat bag, sun shade, storage bag, and a few others. They all had their own name, branded under the Go-Go Babyz company name. That resulted in our number one becoming known as the Go-Go Baby gogo kidz Travelmate, now that’s a mouthful. And, a lot of characters when some of the early online platforms had low character limits.
Most people who know us are familiar with the gogo kidz Travelmate; it’s our number seller by far, always has been. It only works with toddler car seats, not infant seats. We would receive inquiry after inquiry about a product that worked with infant seats. The original concept was actually conceived for infant seats. If you recall the origin of the idea came when our son was still in an infant seat. However, the Travelmate was able to be designed and launched quicker first for three main reasons; 1. Cost 2. Market potential. 3. Simplicity of design. The Infant Cruizer took much longer to design. It was bigger and had more moving parts and functions and required more time to design and test. It eventually hit the market in year three or four. Naming it took some rounds and debates but we settled on The Infant Cruizer. Although, we had so many people asking for it, it never gained the momentum of the gogo kidz. I will go into more on that in another part, for now I want to focus on the product names.
There we were in the year 2000 something and we have the following products:
The Go-Go Babyz gogo kidz Travelmate (80%+ of our business)
The Go-Go Babyz Infant Cruizer – 2 models for different infant seats
The Toddler Adapter for the Infant Cruizer
The Twins Adapter – for the Infant Cruizer, which connects two together. Viola! Twin stroller.
The Car Seat Protector Bag
The Handle Pouch
The Car Seat Luggage Strap.
All these products were branded under the Go-Go Babyz company name.
All those products and The Travelmate was, by far, our bread winner by many, many loaves. That’s a dangerous place to be and I am sure some of you know a little about what eventually happened. But, before “IT” happened, part of our strategy was to diversify our revenue and spread the contribution more evenly. We were developing a couple more products and working on a licensing deal, which I I touched on previously. What we needed to do was figure out how to get all of our existing products selling better to balance out our basket. So, what does that have to do with names? Notice at the beginning of this paragraph I referred to the gogo kidz Travelmate, simply as The Travelmate. The name “Travelmate” was becoming a brand in and of itself; light bulb. “Why didn’t I think of this earlier? I am the marketing guy after all”, I think to myself. It was time to simplify and re-brand. So, all the related products got a makeover and a new name and the Travelmate Family was created.
We now had:
The Travelmate Deluxe
The Travelmate Deluxe Cruizer
The Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap
The Travelmate Car Seat Bag
The Travelmate Product Storage Bag
The Travelmate Handle Pouch.
We now had a cohesive brand of products designed and manufactured by Go-Go Babyz. So, what’s in a name? For us it was revenue, survival, and the story of how the fallen rose again. There is so much more I could go into and explain, but I want to keep this light and stick to the main point, not write a lesson or text book. This story end with the rising sales of our newly, re-branded products.
Then” IT” happened! You all know we rose again, so how did we do it amidst all the investment in growth?