behind the choice, with Leela Srinivasen

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SurveyMonkey is among 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 guide the survey and suggestions market ever since, fueled by innovation, acquisition, and a rising product portfolio.

So once I heard they had been altering their title to Momentive (protecting the SurveyMonkey model for the self-serve survey product), I needed to seek out out extra.

At Velocity, we’re micro-geeks about branding, rebranding and renaming firms (try our 3-part sequence on Renaming a B2B Model). Weirdly, we’ve completed plenty of rebrands and renaming through the years though we are likely to advise towards it greater than we advise shoppers to do it.

We frequently advise towards it due to the plain draw back (dropping hard-earned model fairness) and the not-so-obvious draw back (it may be a serious ache within the ass, diverting a whole lot of hours of administration time. See Demise by Stakeholder). All for an upside that’s laborious to measure.

Nonetheless, there’s typically a extremely, actually robust case to be made for the nuclear possibility of branding: sloughing off the ill-fitting swimsuit that you simply (or some founder) as soon as thought can be excellent in your firm however didn’t keep so.

SurveyMonkey was clearly a superb candidate for renaming: they do WAY greater than surveys. And the monkey factor was nice for a dotcom period startup however at the moment is form of limiting for constructing credibility as an enterprise software program companion.

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

Doing their homework

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

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

The outcomes validated the case for altering the title 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 couple of week. For me, Momentive appears like a superb one. Straightforward to recollect, say and spell. Numerous postive connotations. And its not descriptive so that they received’t outgrow it.)

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

Did protecting SurveyMonkey within the portfolio confuse the transition?

​After we made the announcement, wherever potential we emphasised that this was about ‘SurveyMonkey Inc.’ or ‘the mother or father firm of SurveyMonkey’. Like on this press launch, Survey Monkey Mother or father 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. As an example, see the ‘PS’ in my LinkedIn put up:

In fact, the rebrand narrative doesn’t lead with something associated to SurveyMonkey. As an example, our new website. momentive.ai,  is meant to give attention to our enterprise story, so SurveyMonkey isn’t prominently featured.

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

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

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

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

One of the crucial thrilling and gratifying issues on this first month following the rebrand is how receptive those self same enterprise clients and future clients are to this modification. I’ve already participated in a number of conferences by which it’s clear our enterprise shoppers 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 title have made it simpler to develop and alter?

SurveyMonkey stays an iconic and memorable title which served its unique goal properly. 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 title. For the primary 15 years of the corporate’s existence, it actually was all about surveys, and 20 years in, the model nonetheless has plenty of followers. So I wouldn’t say it was a mistake—the title’s distinctiveness was partly what drove the corporate’s meteoric rise—and we’re retaining that title within the portfolio in consequence.

That stated, this rebrand does spotlight the restrictions of getting such a descriptive title. We accomplish that far more than surveys! As we narrowed our listing of potential names for the rebrand, we had been cautious to avoid something overly descriptive that may merely put us in one other field that we would outgrow down the road. A part of the enchantment 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 Cloud, Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud and so forth—to interrupt by means of the restrictions inherent within the firm title. We’ll by no means know, however had Benioff referred to as the corporate ‘SalesSquirrel’, I think about they’d be a rebrand too.

For Velocity shoppers who face this sort of difficulty, we all the time discover the choice of teaching the market to re-think, for example, what “survey” means—as an alternative of adjusting the title. Did you think about that possibility?

We did take appreciable steps to teach 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 Economic system’. For example, I gave a variant of this discuss The Suggestions Economic system at SaaStr, Traction, SaaStock, Hubspot INBOUND and different occasions.

Finally although, ‘SurveyMonkey’ was so efficient at on-line self-serve surveys—the class we invented—that even with that training, the title didn’t make sense on the firm degree for our future course.

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