behind the choice, with Leela Srinivasen

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SurveyMonkey is likely one of the most acknowledged manufacturers in tech—proper up there with Salesforce and Amazon.

They created the self-serve on-line survey market again in 1999 and have continued to steer the survey and suggestions market ever since, fueled by innovation, acquisition, and a rising product portfolio.

So after I heard they have been altering their identify to Momentive (holding the SurveyMonkey model for the self-serve survey product), I wished to seek out out extra.

At Velocity, we’re micro-geeks about branding, rebranding and renaming firms (try our 3-part collection on Renaming a B2B Model). Weirdly, we’ve carried out numerous rebrands and renaming over time although we are inclined to advise in opposition to it greater than we advise purchasers to do it.

We regularly advise in opposition to it due to the plain draw back (shedding hard-earned model fairness) and the not-so-obvious draw back (it may be a significant ache within the ass, diverting a whole bunch of hours of administration time. See Dying by Stakeholder). All for an upside that’s laborious to measure.

Nonetheless, there’s usually a extremely, actually robust case to be made for the nuclear choice of branding: sloughing off the ill-fitting go well with that you just (or some founder) as soon as thought could be good on your firm however didn’t keep so.

SurveyMonkey was clearly an excellent candidate for renaming: they do WAY greater than surveys. And the monkey factor was nice for a dotcom period startup however right this moment is type of limiting for constructing credibility as an enterprise software program associate.

However is that sufficient cause to fold a well-loved, universally acknowledged model—constructed over twenty years—beneath a brand new, wholly unknown model?

Doing their homework

Being SurveyMonkey, they weren’t about to make such an enormous transfer on a hunch. As Morgan Molnar and Inga Vallionis outlined of their current Quick Ahead Reside session, this was a 14-month journey that included ten analysis streams (each quantitative and qualitative) reaching 22,000 respondents in seven international locations.

In brief, they listened laborious. To staff, executives, present prospects and potential prospects. That included model tracker analysis (they do superior model trackers) and identify testing for the shortlist of ten candidates (I’d like to see the opposite 9).

The outcomes validated the case for altering the identify and in addition helped floor the clear winner: Momentive. (Coined phrases all the time sound humorous at first however the world will get used to them in a few week. For me, Momentive seems like an excellent one. Simple to recollect, say and spell. A lot of postive connotations. And its not descriptive in order that they received’t outgrow it.)

All good however I nonetheless wished to ask 5 questions of Leela Srinivasan, Momentive’s good CMO. Listed here are her solutions:

Did holding SurveyMonkey within the portfolio confuse the transition?

​After we made the announcement, wherever doable we emphasised that this was about ‘SurveyMonkey Inc.’ or ‘the dad or mum firm of SurveyMonkey’. Like on this press launch, Survey Monkey Father or mother Firm Relaunches as Momentive

The SurveyMonkey model is beloved, so within the preliminary days we tried to emphasise that SurveyMonkey remains to be very a lot a key product within the portfolio. For example, see the ‘PS’ in my LinkedIn publish:

In fact, the rebrand narrative doesn’t lead with something associated to SurveyMonkey. For example, our new web site.,  is meant to give attention to our enterprise story, so SurveyMonkey isn’t prominently featured.

Was there anybody second or knowledge level that satisfied you to make the leap?

There have been a few moments that have been notably influential in our choice. 

First: early within the course of, we carried out 1:1 interviews with each member of our govt staff, and the necessity for change was each clear and constant in suggestions throughout the board. 

Second: suggestions from enterprise prospects over time, each those that selected our options and those that didn’t, contained loads of proof that whereas the SurveyMonkey identify did open doorways for us, it didn’t align with our enterprise capabilities.  

One of the thrilling and gratifying issues on this first month following the rebrand is how receptive those self same enterprise prospects and future prospects are to this transformation. I’ve already participated in a number of conferences by which it’s clear our enterprise purchasers perceive the rationale for the change and are excited for this subsequent chapter. 

On reflection, do you suppose it was a mistake to name the corporate Survey Monkey within the first place? Would a much less descriptive identify have made it simpler to develop and alter?

SurveyMonkey stays an iconic and memorable identify which served its authentic function nicely. It made loads of sense again in 1999 when the corporate launched—on the top of the dot-com period, each second firm had an animal in its identify. For the primary 15 years of the corporate’s existence, it actually was all about surveys, and twenty years in, the model nonetheless has a variety of followers. So I wouldn’t say it was a mistake—the identify’s distinctiveness was partially what drove the corporate’s meteoric rise—and we’re retaining that identify within the portfolio in consequence.

That mentioned, this rebrand does spotlight the restrictions of getting such a descriptive identify. We achieve this rather more than surveys! As we narrowed our listing of potential names for the rebrand, we have been cautious to keep away from something overly descriptive that may merely put us in one other field that we would outgrow down the road. A part of the attraction of Momentive, which is a made-up phrase, is that it doesn’t carry such limitations.

In fact, different firms have made completely different choices. ‘Salesforce’ is a notable instance. Lately they lean closely on their ‘clouds’—Advertising and marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud and so forth—to interrupt by means of the restrictions inherent within the firm identify. We’ll by no means know, however had Benioff known as the corporate ‘SalesSquirrel’, I think about they’d be taking a look at a rebrand too.

For Velocity purchasers who face this type of concern, we all the time discover the choice of teaching the market to re-think, for example, what “survey” means—as an alternative of fixing the identify. Did you take into account that choice?

We did take appreciable steps to coach the market that SurveyMonkey was about a lot greater than surveys. We additionally pushed to uplevel the worth of surveys —for example, in 2019 we frolicked speaking about ‘the Suggestions Financial system’. For instance, I gave a variant of this discuss The Suggestions Financial system at SaaStr, Traction, SaaStock, Hubspot INBOUND and different occasions.

In the end although, ‘SurveyMonkey’ was so efficient at on-line self-serve surveys—the class we invented—that even with that schooling, the identify didn’t make sense on the firm stage for our future course.