Now that Uber, Lyft and Airbnb are off and running with mega big growth worldwide, it is no surprise to see a rush to create other such social sharing businesses. Postmates is a personal courier service – sort of Uber for parcels. Lantern brings you mental healthcare services via your smartphone, EatWith brings you dining partners for in home cooked meals, Fitmob provides easy access to trainers’ services, etc, etc.
From a branding perspective, why is it that all these new offerings are trying so hard with their short descriptive names? Are the three big existing leaders descriptive? To some extent Lyft is, but not the others. Yet the world gets it to the tune of thousands of linkups a day. And what if the business plan changes, evolves, or heaven forbid even pivots for one of these new guys. Then their name probably won’t fit and they will have to restart all branding.
In the meantime they are all at risk of a real brand coming in and doing a fast follower business, with some unique protectable and new name. For example, try saying EatWith to your old Aunt. Especially if you have a big beard and are prone to not enunciate your words very clearly. Or if you have an accent of any sort.. and don’t even try it if you have a heavy Asian accent or from some other language that struggles with “th”.
And as mob riots spread across the world, ( the US this time), I don’t envy anyone promoting a name with Mob right in it.
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