Following an acquisition spree at the end of 2020, the leaders of the company formerly known as Phone2Action felt they needed a refreshed look and even a new name.
What followed was a months-long process where the most challenging part was coming up with a new moniker for the legislative advocacy platform company.
Steven Schneider, who last year succeeded Jeb Ory as the company’s CEO, took the lead on it. although he said the final OK fell to his predecessor. “We got down to a list of five [names] and I ended up saying, ‘I’m totally happy with any of these five,” he said.
“The most important criteria for me was that I wanted something that was memorable because I do feel like our business is a very relationship-oriented business and I wanted something that when I meet someone at an event and I introduce myself, when they go home at night, they’ll be able to remember that Capitol Canary was the name of the company.”
Now, Schneider is so invested in the recall aspect of his firm’s branding, which is black lettering with a yellow swoosh over the ‘i’ in Capitol, that he wore a yellow three-piece suit during his Zoom interview with C&E. It’s something that he’s perfectly willing to wear in public, too, if it helps market his business.
“You go to a conference and you’ve got many of the different vendors out there with booths that haven’t changed in 20 years and you got a guy walking around in a yellow suit?,” Schneider said.
Coming up with a new name for the company that was launched in 2013 by Ximena Hartsock and Ory was the most difficult part of the rebranding process, according to Schneider.
“It’s very challenging to come up with a name that’s [not trademarked] and one that you can find a domain on,” he said. “We probably went through over a thousand different name options and combinations.”
But before the creative team, which included Brock Montgomery from River Creek Partners, could come up with a name, Schneider wanted them to restart on the logo, color and other elements. That delayed the process by two-three months.
“I’ll totally accept that responsibility, because I think we came out with a better product as a result,” he said. “Our logos feel very fresh. They convey swagger. They sound like they’re coming from a technology software company. Yet our imagery, our name, shows that you’re talking to someone that’s working in the government space.”
His advice to other firm owners contemplating a rebrand: set boundaries: “Because once you start to do that, constraints are freeing, right? Once you have that, then you have a filter by which to apply all these names through and it becomes very easy.”