Most renaming stories happen because a company is trying to rebrand or pivot. That’s not our story. I am the Co-founder and CEO of a company that just celebrated its one-year anniversary. We’ve added hundreds of thousands of users, been #blessedwithpress (is that a hashtag? because it should be), raised $9.1M and grown from two full-time team members to twenty with 1,200 contractors as well.
In short, we’re doing great, but we really needed a new name. Not a new business model — just a new name.
The purpose of this post is to share why we’re doing this, how we ate the ultimate dog food sundae with our renaming process and what’s next for us. Also, if you couldn’t tell by the title, WayUp is forever our new name (So exciting to say it out loud!).
OK, close your eyes. Well, open them, because you wouldn’t be able to read the rest of this article. However, metaphorically, I want you to close your eyes. Now recite the ABC’s. See how easy it was? It feels like you’ve done it a million times (you probably have). Well, that’s how my team feels when someone asks any of us why we’re changing our name. That’s how many times we’ve thought about it. That’s how many times we’ve talked about it.
Here are some of the problems we encountered with our old name:
- People took “Campus Job” too literally. It can be very frustrating to have a student say “Thanks, but I’m looking for a summer internship, not a campus job.” Ugh.
- Campus Job was constantly called “CampusJobs” or “College Job” or “CampusJob,” none of which were our name. Even some of my favorite investors called us CampusJobs, and I don’t blame them! Also, this.
- What happens when we one day have every college student on our site? Then what? We can’t expand outside of the college world with the name “Campus Job.”
So, it’s time for a new name.
It was February 2015, and one of our company advisors (a branding extraordinaire) met with us to teach us how to come up with a new name. Our team (six total, at the time) crowded in a small room with him and 500 post-it notes. We brainstormed, wrote, stickied, wrote, laughed, critiqued and laughed some more, but five months of this went by, and our team was stumped. We could describe our brand; we just couldn’t name our brand.
I was especially bummed when the branding agency we hired bailed on us the morning that our contract began. Luckily that same day, I had scheduled lunch with two of our summer interns, both college students we’d hired on Campus Job.
As I nibbled at my cheeseburger, nearly on the verge of tears, I told Hannah and Jess how disappointed I was that the renaming might never happen. After all, summer would soon be over, and if we wanted a new name, it had to happen before the new school year began.
That’s when our interns came to the rescue.
Hannah and Jess told me they’d lock themselves in our frat-themed conference room until they had a stroke of brilliance. Minutes after returning to the office, out of the corner of my eye, I saw them huddling over our keg-table, focusing like they were studying for finals. One hour later, the “aha” moment happened. We would name our company WayUp.
Now we just needed a logo.
Interns > Branding Agency
I printed them out, walked around the streets of New York harassing anyone with a backpack and found that the crowd favorite was also my team’s favorite.
And so it happened. All in a matter of one week, we had a name and logo.
But now what?
We purchased the domain (PG — I hear you!) for not too much money. We also hired our favorite film students, Eric and Gregory (who we also hired on Campus Job), to fly out to meet us in NYC for a renaming video. We then ordered swag (snap bracelets!) and our engineers made sure to swap out all of the crests on our site for paper airplanes.
But seriously, now what?
Well, we move on. We’ll change the color scheme on our site and buy a new sign for our office, but other than that, we’ll keep on keepin’ on over here at WayUp, the same way we had before, just under a different banner. We’re focusing on continuing our growth (psst, we’re hiring!) while getting jobs for as many students as possible. While we have helped thousands of students around the country already, we still have a looong way to go, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that we’re on our WayUp.