LearnChanging our name

Ryan
writes on August 15, 2007

We’ve got exciting news!

We’re changing our name from Carson Systems to Carsonified. It’s amazing how it happened and I think it demonstrates what I love about our company.

Let me give you a bit of back-story …

We’ve been contemplating changing our company name from Carson Systems for quite a while now – with ‘Carson Media’ being one of the main contenders. This was because the ‘Systems’ in Carson Systems just didn’t make sense any more. I chose that back when I was a developer, believing that all I’d be doing was building software.

Since then we’ve branched out into creating websites (Vitamin), a ton of blogging (BareNakedApp, Carsonified and more), building web apps (DropSend and Amigo), events (FOWA, FOM, FOOA and FOWD) and social meetups (FOWA Road Trip and BD4D). Rather than just doing web app development, we see ourselves as a web company, run by people by who are passionate about the web.

So, Gill and I were contemplating this name change, but we really hated ‘Carson Media’. It just sounded so corporate and souless – everything we despise. We’re excited about producing quality products, being friendly and kind, having integrity and connecting people.

Then one beautiful summer’s day a couple of weeks ago, we had a team meeting in the local beer garden, and I mentioned that Gill and I didn’t think we would be changing the company name after all, and that we’d stick with Carson Systems.

Instantly, the mood of the meeting dived. Everyone went quiet and seemed to hate the idea of keeping our existing name. Gill picked up on this and said “So, any ideas on what we can change it to?”.

Lisa had already been thinking about this and said, “I really think ‘Carsonified’ could work as a company name”: the reasoning was that it was already in place as the name of the company blog, and being part of the conversation about issues in the web industry is core to what we want to do, it’s something that can be easily applied to all of our projects (a lot of people get confused between our events, Vitamin and our blogs – having one logo and company identity that’s got a bit of zing will make that clearer) and it just sounds fun and energetic, sentiments we all share about the company, and hope that feeling emanates from the things that we do.

Suddenly everyone was bouncing around ideas. Elliot mentioned that he had been sketching logo ideas for the Carsonified blog on the train and I said “Go back to the office and get that sketchpad!” (See below)

It was amazing! There was a palpable buzz around the table (maybe the beer had something to do with it too?). I realized that I had been guilty of suppressing everyone’s excitement and innovation by trying to systematize everything as we grew the company. What we needed was room for everyone to breath and be creative again.

What’s even more surprising and rewarding for me, is that this was a democratic decision. This wasn’t something that Gill and I decided and then implemented, this was the team coming up with the idea and feeling enthused by it. And we can’t wait to get rockin.

I feel as if we’re returning to our roots again – focusing on what’s really important to us:

  1. Encouraging the web community
  2. Participating in the conversation about making the web a better place
  3. Commitment to integrity and quality
  4. Friendliness and kindness

So we’re going to be re-branding as Carsonified (without the exclamation mark :D) and we’ll be launching the new brand in a few weeks. Look out for more things to be Carsonified!

0 Responses to “Changing our name”

  1. Just curious is the font you use for the Carsonified Candy Script from Sudtipos?

    http://www.sudtipos.com/fonts/94

  2. @JohnnyR – No, we hired freelance developers for those two projects.

  3. You were a developer? Ryan, why didn’t you code DropSend and/or Amigo?

  4. Great choice… if only the USA had some quality beer gardens to help with corporate planning. Hope to see you all at another conference on the East Coast soon!

  5. We’re all so excited about it! And we’re going to document the creative process too, so you guys can see what goes on ‘behind the scenes’.

    @ Argo: This site will be changing quite drastically, but don’t worry – we don’t do ‘corporate’! 😉

  6. I think the transition should go smoothly enough. As everyone has already stated, this site is quite popular and a lot of people associate it with all your other endeavors and vice versa, so the change should go quickly enough.

    I am really looking forward to what you all come up with as far as the logo and rebranding. Can’t wait!

  7. Great move, the name fits with your 4 key points. And it’s generating some buzz which will help with getting the word out. I like it!

  8. I love the name.

    Very web 2.0 🙂

    So this blog will change into corporate website?

  9. I love it – nice work!

  10. You know, I think as much recognition as carson systems might have built up, your key brand is the “future of” series and ryan carson’s name. So the corporate name makes little difference. Carsonified makes sense too, as its probably got a lot of link love already, and is fun, a key thing you’re trying to promote.

  11. Thanks for the positive feedback everyone – we’re excited!

  12. Thanks for the positive comments so far – it’s going to be an interesting process 🙂

    @James, a good question. Rebranding is not to be entered into lightly because sometimes *you* might be fed up of your name, but your customers aren’t that bothered – and it could just end up confusing more people than solving any problems with the current brand. But you wouldn’t believe the number of people we meet who don’t know we do Vitamin, or that the folks behind DropSend have anything to do with FOWA – we need a visible brand to unite the products, and that’s not just the name, but the design and the copy too. I like the fact that Carsonified is a verb (ok a made-up one!) that will bind things together, and doesn’t imply that we’re all sitting in a lab building systems! Because the company has grown organically, the original ‘brand’ has been stretched – now we’re going to try and build something that properly represents what we do, and that’s futureproof.

  13. I think its a lot more snappier than Carson Sytems. I have to admit I have wondered why you had the name Carson Systems when you did a lot more stuff than building apps.

    goodluck with it and I am sure people will adjust to it fairly quickly. Oh and I look forward to the new look and feel, great sketch book shot 🙂

    Cheers

  14. Good luck with the name change, I’m sure it wont be as hard a process as many make out.

    Plus.. Elliots sketchbook looks like a gold mine of ideas.. loving it!!

  15. Although rebranding can be a problem, the presence Carsonified has through FOWA and other industry events and projects will make the rebranding easy to “promote”. Since the name is better and is still not that different than the original, I personally think you can rebrand quite nicely.

  16. The name certainly does sound better, but ALOT of people already know you by Carson Systems, do you not think that this will be a problem?

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