Sitel Group, a powerhouse in the customer-experience space, has rebranded as Foundever.
The 30-year-old company acquired Sykes Enterprises in 2021, making it one of the top three providers of “CX” products and solutions worldwide. The firm’s work ranges from facilitating customer care to supporting sales and providing back-office support, and after the successful acquisition, the company was raking in some $4 billion in annual revenue.
It’s clear this group is doing some things right. Is the new name one of them?
The original name, Sitel, was an acronym derived from System International Telemarketing. It communicates little about the brand and the -tel construction has not aged well. Given this dated look and sound—not to mention the name’s suggestion of telecom services and the fact that Sitel had acquired several other brands over the years—rebranding was a smart move, no question.
So far so good.
But international corporate naming is super challenging. To nail this exercise, the new name would need to communicate some aspect of the brand’s essence, vision, or mission. It would need to be engaging and easy to say, spell, and remember for international audiences. It would need to have the power to remain relevant as the brand evolves. And it would need to be ownable as a trademark in the 45 countries (and possibly more to come) in which the company does business. That’s a tall order, and those are just the primary requirements. There can be dozens of other considerations, from internal politics to domain name availability.
Which is all to say: we know this is hard to get right. But we still think this brand could have done better.
A press release explained the rationale behind the name this way: “The new brand celebrates the foundation of expertise on which the company was founded. While ever evolving, the organization maintains the same principles today it was founded upon.” Found, the company said, represents “constant curiosity to seek out innovation,” while ever signals “agility” and the “drive to continuously adapt.”
This name story has some merit but it’s also a stretch. The concepts of discovery (found) and reliability and determination (ever) can be inspiring, but they don’t especially connect with this company’s day-to-day business.
The idea that this name reflects a “foundation of expertise” and a “founder culture” is semi-legit. Foundever has the same cadence as foundation, and the word found does express the idea that you’ve sought and identified a solution as well as founding a company. But there’s no straight line between this and the theme of curiosity or innovation in the release’s name story.
Similarly, while ever certainly communicates the notion of something that is continuous and constant—which in turn can imply a persistent drive—it’s quite a leap from there to the notion of adaptation. And, to us, the name doesn’t evoke agility at all. In fact, the idea of being “ever found” feels far more grounded than dynamic, more discrete than open-ended.
The name story might have been helped by leaning on the connection of Foundever to endeavor, a poetic and elevated word that reinforces the themes of persistence and passion. But even then.
It’s possible that trademark availability and domain name acquisition really drove this choice. The new site is at foundever.com, and the desire to have that revered extension can be overwhelming—as can the desire to use a compound of real English words in a company name, rather than a completely invented word or a creatively spelled one.
The primary international trademark class in which Foundever operates (Class 35, business services) is the most competitive class by far, with more than 15 million marks in use worldwide. We get it! Global trademark is a two-ton bear these days. But you can still develop a name that’s engaging, meaningful for your brand, and ownable. Sadly, we didn’t ever find that here.