Sometimes when naming or renaming, companies have a tendency to revert to the safest option—using words, letters, suffixes, and formulas that are so tried and true they have no risk of provoking any negative reaction or confusion whatsoever among consumers. Of course, a name shouldn’t confuse or anger people, but a good linguistic screening will take care of that, and a name can be safe linguistically and still be bold conceptually. The damaging downside to picking a totally cautious, mundane name is that those names are simply not memorable, not creative, and not exciting. With that being said, Shopzilla, the comparative shopping site, has rebranded its corporate name to Connexity.
Before I bemoan the company’s choice of name, let me say that the impulse to change the name was right on. Shopzilla.com, the price-comparison tool, still exists, though it is no longer the flagship enterprise and primary source of revenue for the company. Connexity has been evolving rapidly in recent years and now offers various marketing services, SEO tools, and may launch CRM software soon as well. It was certainly time for Shopzilla to relinquish the helm.
But with this in mind, someone came up with an even scarier monstrosity: Connexity. They rightfully needed something innocuous, trustworthy, and expansive enough to house all of their current and future services…but, Connexity? The name sounds contrived, boring, and most of all, lazy. “Connect” is such a trite buzzword! Connect is in contention for most uninspiring word with its two friends “Innovate” and “Accelerate.” If connection is the most important message to convey, fine, but why not imply it without, you know, saying it directly?
Then to top it off, they put the universal “spice things up” letter—X—into a suffix, threw it on the end of the word, and called it a day. The letter is commonly used for a few reasons–it can make a name more exciting, it can make a name more memorable, and once upon a time, it could imply that a company was creative and forward thinking. But those uses of X are almost as shopworn as the word Connect itself. Though I think “X” misspellings can still function successfully in some instances, paired with Connect and the generally unstimulating ending, it simply does not deliver.