Choosing names is difficult – look at the trouble people have with naming a child. So many people struggle to come up with names that are unique and unforgettable and that convey the wonderful qualities that they hope that child will have. Sometimes it works out. Other times, you wind up with a name like Moon Unit or Pilot Inspektor. Interesting and memorable, to be sure, but difficult to take seriously. Now clearly, naming a company is different from naming a human, but there are some odd similarities. Just like with kids, you want the name of your company to stick in people’s minds and communicate the company’s essence, but without venturing into the realm of “Who the heck thought that was a good idea?”
This was the process we undertook when we set out to name Bloomerang. We knew what we wanted the software to look like (simple and beautiful), how we wanted it to work (intuitively and effortlessly), and what we wanted it to do (help you grow relationships, retain donors, and increase giving). We also wanted the name to reflect who we, the people behind the software, are. We aren’t conventional or run-of-the-mill , and we knew a name with common words like “Donor,” “Loyalty,” or “Retention,” while descriptive, just wouldn’t fit.
As we pondered this, we were fortunate to be able to work with a local branding firm who pointed us in the direction of “Bloom.” It sounded fresh and uncomplicated, and we loved the image it brought to mind of growing and flourishing. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t all that unique – a quick google search showed us several other products by that name. We started thinking of variations, like CoBloom (which quickly prompted me to yell “Kabloom!”). We looked at other options. We obsessed. We sat around a table tossing out names until I thought we were never going to find one. Finally, after what seemed like the millionth option was shot down, I hesitantly said, “What about Bloomerang?”
For you non-horticulturists out there, the Bloomerang bush is a type of lilac that blooms twice a year instead of the normal once-per-year variety. I only know this because I’d considered planting one this past year during an ill-fated battle with nature in my backyard. Though I lost that battle, the name stuck with me. It seemed to fit for our software vision, incorporating both the idea of growing the relationships and keeping donors coming back year after year. It was also memorable and just a little quirky, which could probably be said of most of us on the Bloomerang team.
So, after a bit more mulling, we signed off on it. Then we tossed and turned. Did we do the right thing? Were people going to get it? Or did we just do the company equivalent of naming a child Rumer or Apple? I guess only time will tell, but we think that in the end, regardless of the name we gave the company, the software will speak for itself. And we can’t wait to start letting it do the talking!