Brand value appears in many businesses’ financial records as an intangible asset.  So why would any company that has spent years building a solid business with name and brand recognition throw it all away overnight by rebranding?

Well, businesses use to rebrand to try to shed negative associations and bad reputations, but now rebranding has become an excellent way for businesses to improve customer relationships in key areas like market differentiation, brand awareness, and emotional connectivity.  RelayRides just rebranded as Turo and it makes good business sense.  The struggling company found that after five years of growth without turning a profit, there was “cognitive dissonance” between the company’s name and its product, according to its CEO Andre Haddad.  Although the sharing economy has fueled fast success for many transportation-related start-ups, RelayRides was stalling after external customer confusion over its name and the concept of ridesharing, as well as internal change from its focus on hourly car rentals.

RelayRides biggest problem was that it had the wrong name for what the company has evolved into. The name itself was awkward and ill-suited for international branding.  It was not a ridesharing company, yet RelayRides was part of the mindshare associated with Uber and its ilk. Moreover, RelayRides was no longer simply a Zipcar alternative.

So overnight, RelayRides rebranded as Turo, complete with the short CVCV domain (Consonant, Vowel, Consonant, Vowel) Turo.com.  It is a smart move and a great investment in the future of the brand.  CVCV names are used by many of the top corporations worldwide, including NIKE and VISA, and are highly brandable.  Turo.com is similarly very brandable because it is short, unique, pronounceable and could easily slip into consumer’s consciousness via associations with tours and tourism.  This is great since the company wants its target audience to think of the driving experience offered as a fun adventure.  With its new CVCV domain and $47 million in Series C funding, Turo now has the foundation to potentially become another Fortune 500 company.

Tracy Fogarty

Founder & CEO at eNaming
With over 20 years in the brokerage business, Tracy Fogarty has helped thousands of clients achieve their goals on both sides of the negotiation table. Creative and result oriented professional, Ms. Fogarty strives on honest communication, value proposition, the big picture perspective, and bottom-line profitability.