What Happens When a Pandemic Sounds like Your Product Name
In 2016, we created a product that changed our business: Wix Code. It’s a simple name that explains exactly what the product does and it worked well for us for some time.
In the three years that followed, the product evolved a lot and became more robust. So in March 2019, we decided to change the name to Corvid by Wix. Corvids are a family of super smart birds, like crows and ravens, and we felt this name would represent how intricate and complex the product was.
And we were very proud of this name. Before we made the final decision, we went around the table and asked every person, “Are you sure about this name?” The answer was “yes”.
Everyone was sure. We liked that the name was unique and different.
But one year later, we felt very different about this name. Because now, Corvid started to sound like COVID. Not good.
At first, we made jokes: “Oh yeah, Corvid sounds like COVID-19, funny”. Someone even had the idea to turn this name similarity into a funny campaign. But we understood really quickly that this similarity in the name would cause problems.
We saw it in the developer community, we saw it on YouTube, on social media.
Any time we tried to announce a new feature, we immediately got comments like “naming a product Corvid in 2020 is ridiculous”. We saw that people didn’t know… and didn’t care... that the product name came before the virus.
And you know, having a product name that sounds like an epidemic is bad for branding.
We understood it was time for another name change. In August this year, we started working on something new, and we worked fast to come up with a name that was meaningful and still captured what the brand feeling is.
We tried many name options, and asked ourselves (like we did before), “Are you sure?” And again, we were sure about our decision for a new name: Velo.
Why Velo? It comes from the word “velocity”, and is inspired by the accelerated development that users have on this platform. This is an important word for us at Wix - we work fast and react even faster. And we know that speed is important to anyone who develops a website. Velo is the platform they can use to build web applications right out of the box.
Most important, it doesn’t sound like a disease.
As 2021 begins, we have a lot planned for Velo and our users. We hope it becomes a brand that goes viral, but not THAT kind of viral.
So now you know about the new name, the next step is to try it.
By Omer Shai