Last week we announced that we’re leaving the name ‘Mondo’ behind, and invited you to suggest your ideas for what we should change it to.
We’ve been overwhelmed by the response of everyone in our community. In less than 48 hours we had over 12,500 submissions through our website from almost 10,000 people across the world. Over on the forum, the discussion thread on this topic quickly became one of the most popular we’ve ever had.
When the time came to review the list of suggestions, we were left with around 4,500 unique potential names, from the sublime to the hilariously ridiculous (yes, we had over 350 variations on the ‘Banky McBankface’ theme).
Although we’re not ready to announce a new name, we’re still on track to turnaround the fastest rebrand in banking history. We’ve had lots of questions about next steps, so here’s our update:
What stage are you at now?
Last week we spent a couple of days going through every single suggestion on the list of ideas, making sure to say them out loud to hear how they sound. We even mocked them up as logos so we could see how they might look on our cards.
After hours of reviewing names, and after many chats in the office, between us we came up with a shortlist of around 40 possible ‘M’ names.
The next step was to do some basic checks on the names in the shortlist using Google. Were there other banks or financial services companies with that name? Were there popular apps or other products? What about the trade mark - was it clearly registered with someone else?
This step is particularly important - it’s difficult to find a name that everyone likes but has not yet been registered.
After that, we were left with around 10 possible names which seemed to be clear. We wanted to include some user feedback, so used online survey tools to gather opinions. We also wanted to check whether or not the names had negative meanings in foreign languages, so we asked 1,000 people from all over the world to review them.
Thankfully, this process only took a few days, and we were left with a just a couple of potential names.
We’re now in the last stage of the process, working with a team of lawyers who are doing due diligence on these names before we can make a final decision and register a trade mark.
How did you shortlist the names? What criteria did you use?
Broadly speaking, we didn’t want a name that sounded too ‘traditional’ or corporate. We also wanted something easy to spell and pronounce, and we wanted to avoid names with negative connotations.
How are you making sure that you don’t need to change your name again?
Any company or product with the same or similar name can submit a challenge once we register our new trade mark.
Our team of lawyers is checking existing trade marks which look or sound similar to the potential names we’ve chosen, and will tell us if they believe there to be a high risk of a successful challenge.
These checks can take time, and we’re trying to make sure we have as much legal assurance as possible before we announce our new name. However, even with this assurance, there is always a risk that the new trade mark is challenged.
When will the new name be announced? Why can’t you tell us now?
Over the next week our team of lawyers will complete their checks and we’ll use that information to make a final decision. When the decision is made we’ll register the trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office.
Only once the trade mark has been registered can we announce the name (otherwise we might shoot ourselves in the foot!). We hope to announce it in the next couple of weeks, but it could take longer.
I have an Alpha, Beta or Investor card - will you reissue my card with the new name?
Lucky you! You now have a super-special limited edition card.
We won’t be reissuing cards with the new name for now, because we plan on reissuing them in the near future when we become a fully regulated bank.