‘What’s in a name?’ asked Shakespeare. It’s clear that Shakespeare probably asked a budding entrepreneur, given the multiple headaches they endure in picking a unique name for their brand. When Darpan Munjal was trying to save a failing startup, he inadvertently stepped into the naming industry and came up with one of the world’s largest naming platforms for businesses.
It was 2012 when Munjal decided to start his very own venture, the online retail startup Fashionara. However, the startup shut up shop because of a lack of funding, despite having originally raised USD 4 million. Then, a strange phenomenon occurred. The mini competition that Munjal had set up to help him crowdsource a name for that venture bloomed into Squadhelp. As the only real credible alternative to expensive agencies, the platform has assisted more than 17,000 customers across the globe, creating over 6 million names.
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Squadhelp’s branding competitions help businesses engage with the most creative people across the globe. As thousands of creative people compete with each other–each suggesting different name ideas–a single winner is selected. The winner gets paid, and meanwhile a new brand name is gained without having to hire an entire agency.
The challenge of finding the right name is a challenge for many a new business. Not only can it be time consuming and expensive but also misunderstood trademark implications can result in expensive rebranding efforts.
Squadhelp’s vision is to disrupt the traditional agency model of branding by combining the creativity of people across the globe with sophisticated technology. They plan to reach out to the 50 million startups that launch every year as well as existing companies that launch new brands and products.
Squadhelp launched its marketplace in beta in the end of 2017 and the visual name generating tech in April. The Chicago-based company has invested considerably in AI to help find relevant names for different industries and brand characteristics and added robust validation capabilities for audience testing and trademark validation.
“We feel that AI will assist the creatives – not replace them – in battling it out to help you build the best brand you can. By combining the collective creativity of our naming community with advanced technology and validation services, choosing a name has never been so easy,” says Munjal.
Having analysed and classified millions of names in their database, based upon industry and name styles, Squadhelp combines the creativity of thousands of naming experts with the sophistication of AI and machine learning to recommend the most relevant names to their customers.
The scoring of competitors on the platform is done on the basis of quality of their name suggestions using algorithms. Similar to Quora, the higher quality participants rise to the top. The recent features also provide incentives for creatives and they can even interact amongst themselves.
Also, companies can now test their favorite names with their target demographics. They can poll an audience based on age, gender, and location to help companies understand the brand names that resonate the best with their target customers.
Squadhelp also has trademark attorneys who prepare comprehensive trademark reports to help companies understand any potential trademark risks before moving forward with a name. Squadhelp’s validation process includes domain checks, trademark risk assessment, linguistics analysis, and professional audience testing.
A typical naming contest receives several hundred name ideas. All ideas are automatically checked for URL availability. Name types include tags like traditional, fun, and modern. Participants can see their submissions from their contest dashboard. They can rate entries, leave private comments, as well as send public messages.
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Munjal has held several senior positions at various multi-billion-dollar Fortune 500 companies, leading the technology and product teams for both Sears.com and Kmart.com. With 22 years of experience in bootstrapped startups to multi-billion-dollar Fortune 100 companies, Munjal’s passion is disruptive, internet focused businesses.
“We are really excited about the new features of the platform and hope it will continue to keep us at the top of our game,” said Munjal.
Squadhelp is being used by startups, small businesses, and large businesses across industries like consulting companies, PR and marketing agencies, real estate, tech, fashion and clothing, e-commerce, and education. The platform has been used by thousands of companies to name a business, product, brand, service, app, book title, and even TV shows.