The Journey from ShortList to Candorful – New Name, Same Passionate Mission!

Words mean things. In many ways, choosing the right words to express your idea or point of view is a painstaking task. In fact, one of the toughest parts of communicating, at crucial moments, is structuring and choosing your words to properly convey your meaning. You know you’ve got to catch the attention of your audience and rapidly strike with meaning when the moment matters. Crucial moments like expressing your feelings for a loved one, communicating a strategic change, or Nailing That Interview require the right words at the right time. When Pat and I chose the name of our company, it was admittedly a pretty quick decision. I basically thought of the most positive-sounding interview related words, did a couple of modifications, and out came Short List.

This name held up well for several months as we spoke with potential clients and business partners. It grew on us and the communities where we were building relationships and awareness. But one day we discovered that there was another company out there named Shortlist. Coincidence? Possibly. When I started to check out what they did, I got a sinking feeling. Their industry area overlapped with ours. After a few days of discussion Pat and I decided we were going to bite the bullet and make a name change…sigh…we didn’t want to.

The process of coming up with our new name was decidedly one of the most difficult hurdles that we’ve scaled There were several considerations we learned we needed to consider.

Emotion and Ownership

We are passionate about our mission and the value it brings to the lives of transitioning military, and everyone who is frustrated and disenfranchised with the job search. The name had become synonymous with that passion. We had to disentangle the name from our feelings. This sounds trivial or perhaps even silly, but it’s not. Every name we considered was measured and weighed against the mission.


Other Companies of the Same or Similar Name

This is a pretty easy one. You want your brand and your company name to stand out in the crowd. Picking a name that isn’t distinct not only invites the possibility of confusing people, but you also have the potential for conflicting search results. Even worse, there is the potential for a cease-and-desist letter or a lawsuit.


An available URL

I can’t stress this enough. You would be amazed at the number of URL’s out there that are owned by someone else. The frustrating part is that many of them are unavailable but also unused. Perhaps the owner is thinking someone will come along and pay big bucks to acquire the name. Each name that we liked had to have a matching URL or it was off the table. In fact, we had landed on “PrepTrek†only to find that someone bought the URL right after we finalized our decision. We had to start the name-search from square one.


And last but definitely not least, Memorability/Catchiness

There is a fine balance between practicality and novelty in consumer behavior. We tried to balance this as we came up with a new name for our company. We experimented with a lot of different concepts. While brainstorming, the following words were considered for at least part of our new company name: prep, trek, sharp, Sherpa, engage, hub, change, ace, interview, Nooada and Loochta (Gaelic terms).

In the end, we thought about the values of our company and what we aspire to be. One of our main values is candor (or candidness). Using a play-on-words, we eventually landed on Candorful, a name that was both available and memorable.

At Candorful, we want to convey a message and takeaway from our identity, much like you would in a job interview. What are your stories about how you crafted your identity? How did you make yourself memorable yet credible at the same time? We’d love to see your comments below.

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