Renaming Proxios: CEO Talks About the Process

Fast growing, innovative companies can sometimes outgrow their brands.

“Our name became constraining,” said Frank Butler, CEO of Proxios, a fast-growing company using cloud computing technology to create affordable and reliable alternatives to traditional in-house information technology and phone systems. “Our old name Super-Server did not have broad appeal and it was dated.”

Merriam Associates gave this company a new identity that better fit their reputation and future aspirations. Our research showed that their competitors were all saying the same things and using the same colors, in the same way. Plus, in talking to customers and prospects, we found what truly made them special. Over and over, customers talked about how responsive the company was in understanding the intricacies of each business, in customizing solutions to fit, in answering questions quickly, and in resolving problems.

“We always thought we were a technology company. What we discovered in this process was that customers could not care less about technology,” Frank continued. “What they want is results. They could care less how we do it.”

Informed with that insight and a solid creative brief, we considered hundreds of concepts and tested dozens of candidates through our proprietary process. We recommended the name Proxios because of its deep meaning that is directly relevant to the promise the company makes to their customers.

Proxios derives from the Latin word “proximus”. That word has many meanings including “nearness”, “closely connected” and “close relationship”. The variant “proxios” literally means “freely”. We felt the word perfectly summed up the value proposition:

  • ­A close relationship with clients
  • ­Keeping them closely connected to applications and data no matter where they are
  • ­So that they are free of the headaches and risks of running their own information technology systems

The name is just the first step in creating a brand. We designed a new logo that raises the company above the visual cliches so common to the category. And to tell the Proxios brand story, we wrote copy and designed a visual system that unified the look of all the company’s marketing communications pieces. The new Proxios brand gives the company a solid foundation for fast growth and national expansion–and the stature of innovative and responsive company.

Frank concludes, “It was a remarkable process. It had a magical effect on our company.”

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More naming resources:

Naming How-To:

Naming Mistakes
Six Factors for a Memorable and Motivating Name
History of Best Known Brands
Styles and Types of Brands
Choosing a Name
Try a Recycled Name
Web 2.0 Naming Considerations
What is Brand Architecture
Approaches to Brand Architecture
Brand Architecture and Business Strategy

Companies and Products:

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Macy’s Blunder with Marshall Field’s Name Change
Banks and the Name Game from Bank Marketing Magazine
AIG Name Change to AIU
Breaking Up the Motorola Brand
Google’s Speedbook Disaster
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Unintentionally Funny Names-BARF
Unintentionally Funny Names-Putzmeister
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Selected Naming Portfolio

Additional Naming Materials:

Merriam’s Guide to Naming available at Amazon.com
Naming in general

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