Does renaming SnapChat just “Snap” signal a mistake? The Snap Name Review
In advance of their IPO, Snapchat is lopping off the “chat” part of their name.
Among certain circles, this happened a while ago. For years, teens could be found sitting on the floor of the mall chained to an outlet declaiming, “Gotta check my snaps” or “Just sent you a snap” or “I can’t believe you Snap with your parents.”
Now the actual company is following suit. Though wisdom was spoken from the mouths of youth hanging out next to the Hot Topic charging their phones, there are bigger forces at play.
You see, Snapchat is rapidly expanding. They’ve done mobile payments, they’ve just released sunglasses with a built-in camera they call “Spectacles” (a great homonym), and all indications are that more new stuff is on the way. More wearables, more social functions, more news and current events and maybe TV shows or even airing concerts or sports events, or heck, why not video-chatting? Snap is well poised to grow.
Regardless, the change has allowed the name to take on more meanings. The Snap of Snapchat most saliently alluded to the duration and fleetingness of the message. It also hinted at the fact that it was a picture-based messaging system (for those of us old enough to remember the sound of a shutter). But now, the simple and easy to use connotation of Snap is brought to the fore, which is fantastic seeing as they’re aiming to be so much more than a one-trick-pony.
And though sometimes changing a name means that the company is rectifying a mistake with the initial name, or didn’t have the foresight to go with a totally inclusive name to begin with, that isn’t so with Snap.
The decision to drop “chat” came at the right time, and relied on the company first establishing itself with the SnapChat name. When launching a basically new concept from scratch – which they did – it is often an advantage to have the name do a bit more of the descriptive legwork (as long as it isn’t too literal and unhip). Once Snapchat became a household name, it was ready to molt. And that’s not to mention, dropping chat was easy and elegant. (That’s what makes it a no-brainer from a naming perspective. The transition is much more seamless than, say, JustFab becoming TechStyle Fashion Group.)
With your name, you really should invest the time and resources to get it right the first time. Snapchat did get it right the first time, and grew beyond what anyone thought possible. (Remember when their CEO turned down 2 billion dollars from Facebook??) And now, poised to explode into versatile, many-armed tech powerhouse, they are also getting it right the second time. Good on them.
In advance of their IPO, Snapchat is lopping off the “chat” part of their name. Among certain circles, this happened a while ago. For years, teens could be found sitting on the floor of the mall chained to an outlet declaiming, “Gotta check my snaps” or “Just sent you a snap” or “I can’t believe you Snap with your parents.”