Changing your company name?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by DaveGilbert, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. DaveGilbert

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    So, after three years and a small amount of success, I've decided to speak to a bunch of marketing guys for advice on how to really grow the company. Each of them have told me that, in a nutshell, that one thing I really need to do is change the name of my company. "Wadjet Eye Games" It's hard to spell, hard to pronounce, and hard to remember.

    Is this a good idea? I do like the name, but I have to agree that they are right. A company name is easy enough to change, but from a marketing standpoint it sounds like a nightmare. Anyway, just wondering if anyone had any thoughts.

    -Dave
     
  2. Cevo70

    Cevo70 New Member

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    Seems like advice I wouldn't pay for, but it's candid and I don't disagree. :)

    I agree that it's hard to spell and pronounce (sort of), but for me I've found it memorable. I don't play your games but I know your work and can match your name to your company and to your games. It seems to fit.

    Me personally, I'd focus time/$ doing those mysterious inter-PR techiniques that you can read about. Find/define your typical audience and talk to more of them. How far have you taken those efforts? How active are you?

    That's my quick take. I mean, changing your name and putting our a press release about it...sure okay. Will that pay off? When? How will you really know?
     
  3. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    The name reminds me of witchety grubs.
     
  4. zoombapup

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    Wadjet eye games IS hard to type etc. But it isnt that hard to remember. It could easily get confused with widget and the like though.

    If youre ever going to change it, might as well do it now.
     
  5. MrPhil

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    I think you need to consider the current name against new ones. Can you come up with a new name that speaks to gamers who will like your type of games? Will this let you reach a lot more paying customers? Does it mean more customers? If the answer is yes, why wouldn't you?

    Most important: don't "decide" to change it. Explore new names and only change it if it makes sense for your business.

    An example: Positech Games

    Positech Games is run by Cliff Harris aka Cliffski. He makes simulation and strategy games. His name is WELL established. So it's hard to imagine him changing his name now. But ten years ago, if he had switched names to something like StrategyTech Games: that might have let him reach his audience faster and easier. Another idea might have been to go with Cliffski Games, because he is a one man game studio. This might have help him communicate the unique indie-ness of his games more effectively. If memory serves me right, he's actually mentioned in an interview that he wishes he had started with a different name.
     
  6. PoV

    PoV
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    Not that I'm the best person to provide naming advice (though having lived with a difficult to pronounce and spell last name, in addition to opting for a company name just as bad).

    Still, if you're intent on changing the name, there's a nice compromise to be had with your name. Lose an eye. ;)

    Losing the eye still maintains much of your original name, and shouldn't confuse existing customers (too much).

    Marketing "experts" worry me IMO. Looking too much at success trends like Apple, Nike, iPod and Wii, they lose sight of the fact that establishing a brand is hard work no matter what. At least with games, we get a new chance to test our marketing and branding prowess with every new product, each one refining the credibility of the parent brand. A breakout success will still be a breakout success, no matter the name behind it.

    Cliffski's example is a good one, but possibly not for the reasons everyone expects. Any crazy word can develop in to a recognizable brand, but there's something to be said for corporate intent. You'll probably never see him selling off his company or IP's, and as a result he's developed an almost combination meta-brand. He's not Positech Games, he's Cliff Harris of Positech Games. When it comes to press coverage, you'll almost never see one without the other. Instead of company name, he's essentially given himself an extended last name. Something to tell him apart from the rest of the Cliff Harris's around the world. Now isn't it better to have something less definite, possibly to give hints about your character associated with your name, than a generic brand saying you make strategy games?

    StrategyTech Games, a faceless strategy game maker, I hear they were bought out by some casual game publisher recently.

    There is a world of problems you unlock by taking an odd name. But what you get from that experience is a story. How you plan to run your company should decide weather that story is worth having.
     
    #6 PoV, Sep 4, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  7. dewitters

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    I think this question is really important *if* you're going to change your name. The best example for your type of games would be Telltale games. Their name is definitely related to the kind of games they make, so marketing wise this is very good. If I were you I would try to get the word "adventure" in it, because then anyone who sees your name will instantly know the kind of games you make.
     
  8. MrPhil

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    Good point. Maybe: Cliffski's StrategyTech Games lol
     
  9. Bad Sector

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    Giving bad names is my specialty. My first name was Compuroom, which was ok but there was something i didn't liked about it (also too generic).

    Then Slashstone. Almost everyone thought it was Slashtone - even i did this mistake a couple of times by writing that :).

    And to be consistent, the next name i invented was Hour Games :p.

    Then it was Crimson Feather, which was something not very related to games and i never took it off, but i still have the domain because i have a bunch of development sites there (which slowly i move to badsectoracula.com).

    My final name, which is what i "officially" renamed Slashstone to is Runtime Terror. Its still not a "wow" name, but i like it much more than Slashstone and i'm sticking to it :).
     
  10. DaveGilbert

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    *Great* points, all. My problem with the name is not that is isn't related to point-and-click adventure games or games in general (and besides, I have definite plans on making a few non point-and-clicks in the near future) but that the name itself is so weird. Folks spell it widget or wadget and it of course screws up my google searches. Heck, my company was nominated for a Game Developers Choice award in 2007 and whoever was in charge spelled it as "Wadget" on our table's sign and left out the "eye games" to boot! :)

    Anyway, keep the thoughts coming!
     
  11. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    May be you could just cut it a bit, like WADGET GAMES or just WADGET.

    Anyway, most gamers (clients) will not care at all about the name of your company. They care about the games but not whom made them.

    JC
     
  12. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    Many big-name companies have short, non-descriptive names which, if you didn't know anything about the company, you might wonder what made them decide on their name... but over time and with enough advertising, we become familiar with them. Dell, Sony, Kodak, JVC, Atari, Lorus, Pepsi, Coke, etc.

    Coming up with a name for a company is an interesting subject, but it's really more about branding. Of course though, it matters if the name is easy to remember and spell... it's hard to brand a difficult to remember or spell name. (I actually had to scroll back to make sure I spelled Wadjet Eye Games, correctly. And then double-check again to make sure I had it right.) ;)

    So I would say that yeah, it's probably a good idea to change your name at this point. To what though, is the bigger question. And then, the even bigger question is, "Is the .com domain taken for the new name?" So a few obstacles, but I think in the end it could probably be worth the effort.

    On a side-note, I thought Psygnosis had a horrible name, (at least I thought it was at the time), but I seem to have no problem remembering it and spelling it correctly now. Take that for what it's worth. ;)
     
  13. PoV

    PoV
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    Well if we lose the eye, we can move the focus of typographical and reading errors to the main word now. And we should be able to fix them by playing with the font face or color.

    WADJET GAMES

    WADJET GAMES

    WADJET GAMES

    With something like that, people should have a hard time *not* reading it correctly now.
     
  14. DFG

    DFG
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    I have always thought your name was unique and stood out. Maybe hard to rebrand after launching so many games already.

    If people have already associated your company name with your games, I would not see the wisdom in rebranding.
     
  15. Nexic

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    I agree with DFG. I think Wadjet Eye Games is a pretty great company name. It's unique and memorable.

    I think a lot of people (especially marketing guys) get far too wrapped up in brand identity and all that nonsense. The fact of the matter is that an indie is never going to get to a large enough stage for it even to be a factor. The games you create are infinitely more important than your company image.
     
  16. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It all depends on how much hassle it is to change over really and how much brand you think you've built up.

    I agree with them though a name that's memorable, easy to spell and talk about is much better.

    I keep reading it as Japseye Games. :eek:
     
  17. Tobias

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    Change it. Wadjet eye is no good imho. I have no idea what it means or what the purpose of it is. I have no idea where wii came from either, but they've got money to throw around to make me remember them.

    I have heard of Shivah and Blackwell Legacy, but can't recall any wadjets,

    This is what I would do if I were in your comfy, released-successful-games, seat (and did not want to screw up my current brand too much): Change the name to Blackwell Games, or Blackwell Creative, or something with Blackwell. That will give your next press release more traction, if the audience is still the same, and it's an easier name. Maybe too "common", though.

    Ideally, you should change it to Adventurilla. But what do I know.
     
  18. papillon

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    I find it memorable in that when I *see* it I'm immediately reminded of your games, I have no problem knowing what games go with that name... but I don't remember the name all that well on its own, and would more likely use blackwell either to refer to you when talking to others or to google you to remember what your company name actually is.

    But crazy things can be made more memorable if you push them enough...
     
  19. Pallav Nawani

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    Personally, the biggest problem I have with the name wadjet eye games, is that it doesn't sound very professional/cool. It seems the kind of name a teenager would come up with.

    On the other hand, changing the name of your company is not going to make your games sell more, so...

     
  20. Indinera

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    This.
    Personally I've associated the name with your own.
     

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