To Find a Winning Company Name, Ride Trends and Consult AI

In summer 2019, a budgeting app with a catchy name—Klover—debuted. “The idea was for Klover to give consumers a sense of fortune or luck, like a four-leaf clover,” says Chief Executive Officer Brian Mandelbaum. Less than three years later, the company was expanding into business-to-business markets and having second thoughts about that branding. “Klover with a k is clever, but we have nothing to do with luck,” he says. “It’s really about science and statistics and tech, so we reconsidered the name.”

A decade ago, renaming a company was considered perilous, if not unthinkable. Branding experts sternly warned of consumer confusion and brand dilution. Most companies avoided renaming unless it was essential, often limiting themselves to shortenings, such as Weight Watchers’ move to WW in 2018 and Dunkin’ Donuts’ shift to Dunkin a few months later. Then global events pushed numerous companies to reconsider everything from names of product lines to the entire corporate identity.

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