As a company expands, it can very easily outgrow its brand name, as SocialSurvey realized in 2020. After developing a new platform, it became clear that SocialSurvey was far more than the survey company that it started as five years before.
SocialSurvey had become an experience management platform and so the company created the rebranding roadmap that ultimately led SocialSurvey to become Experience.com.
In this edition of the On the Record series, I chat with Dave Taylor, the CMO of Experience.com. Dave discusses why SocialSurvey outgrew its brand name and how his team managed to acquire the Experience.com domain name late in the company's rebranding process.
Can you tell us a little about Experience.com, and what the company does?
Experience.com is a technology company that offers the most impactful Experience Management Platform (XMP) available anywhere, to help companies in any industry collect, analyze, and act on customer and employee experiences in real-time.
SocialSurvey was your established brand, why did you make the decision to rebrand after five years in business?
While we were sad to part with the SocialSurvey brand, when we re-wrote the code to launch our new platform in 2020, we realized that the functionality was far more than surveys. Our original platform when we launched as SocialSurvey had a central and important focus - gathering feedback data via customer surveys, ties to individual employees, and sharing that data on review sites.
The new platform automatically captures customer, employee, and even product experience data at the key journey points that matter. We have become so much more than a survey company - we are an experience company.
When did you start the rebranding process, and what your main aims when choosing a new brand name?
When looking at names, we wanted to find the right name to not only match our technology and expertise but also find a name that was industry-agnostic.
The world of experience management is relatively new, but most companies say they differentiate themselves by providing better experiences than their competition - and we want to help them do that.
Experience.com felt like the logical choice to position ourselves as the choice to help them do that.
Was the availability of the domain name a consideration when choosing a new name?
Of course. We always had our eye on Experience.com as our new name and domain. Our team reached out to the owner earlier in the year and they were not interested in selling. We started moving forward with another brand name in mind. But the team did not give up.
We were in touch with the seller in December 2020 and learned that they were trying to offload some assets. Right before the end of the year, we were able to negotiate a deal.
Are you able to share that other brand name? Why did you ultimately decide to revert back to Experience.com? It sounds like you had put significant time and energy into moving forward with the other brand name.
Yes, we were planning to move forward with the brand "VOCE" (pronounced vo-chay), meaning "voice" in Italian and other languages before Experience.com was available. We liked the play on using "voice" for the name of the brand, since we collect, act, and analyze the voices of customers and employees, but we were not as excited about the name as we were about Experience.com.
We began the rebranding effort with Voce and Voce.com but when we got word that Experience.com was available, we quickly pivoted.
How long did it take you, from initial conversations to getting possession of the domain, to acquire Experience.com?
We began the conversation to purchase Experience.com in early 2020 and acquired the domain in December of that year.
How did you transition from SocialSurvey.com to Experience.com? Was it instant, or phased in?
We moved quickly to rebrand so we could launch the new name in coordination with our new Experience Management Platform (XMP) in February, all at once. Once we secured the naming rights in December, the whole team rallied to rebrand quickly.
In order to provide the best experience for our customers, we were in touch prior to the launch to share our rebranding plans and made sure they were aware of all of the changes, along with a brand guide and all of the critical information they needed to know about our new platform.
The rebrand has only just taken place, but what do you hope to achieve as a result of rebranding to Experience.com?
We want to build awareness as the trusted partner that helps companies understand and create outstanding experiences for their customers and employees.
Have you noticed any positive or negative impacts of rebranding to Experience.com yet?
Apart from a few inquiries looking for credit services (experian.com), in the last month, we have heard excitement from our customers and partners. They are excited as we begin our journey to define the experience management space and grow our platform features.
It feels like we have found a brand that is big enough to capture everything we're doing.
What would be your advice for a startup, or established company that may be interested in purchasing a premium domain name during a rebranding process?
We would suggest that before purchasing a premium domain name, a company understands the implications to their business.
Does the domain reflect who they are trying to be perceived as they grow awareness in the market? Does it fit you equally well now, and 5 years from now? Is it easy to remember or understand? Are there competitors using similar domains or people who may be confused by the URL? It is not an easy decision to rebrand your company, so before spending, do your research.
_These responses have been edited for clarity__