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Company Naming Case Study | DeWinter Marketing & PR | Denver Colorado

DeWinter Marketing RANT: Company Naming Case Study Shows How UUNI Pizza Ovens Had To Re-name Their Company After Years In Business

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In this Marketing RANT, I’m covering a Company Naming Case Study about how Uuni Pizza Ovens made every mistake in the book when naming their young company. Read on and learn about the company naming mistakes that were made, and how to avoid them if you need to develop a name for your new business.

Company Naming Case Study: Uuni Pizza Ovens Scraps Their Company Name After Years In Business

Company Naming Case Study | DeWinter Marketing & PR | Denver ColoradoThis company naming case study came to light because my friend Bob is on a mission from God to find the perfect pizza oven to add to the high-end grilling  & cooking equipment in his backyard. After much online research, he was targeting an Uuni pizza oven as one of the top contenders.

As we were talking about it, it came to light that Uuni has had so many problems with their original company name that they scrapped it.

Let me be clear: the ramifications and cost of a drastic step like this are HUGE, and could have been avoided with better company naming strategies deployed from the get-go.

When you have a consumer product and you opt to change the company name after years in business, you’re going to have to retool emblems on the products themselves, redo the logo and all marketing assets that feature the logo, build a PR campaign to educate your prospects, and much more.

Let’s start with the background info about why this happened: The company was founded in 2012 after being funded with a Kickstarter campaign. Their core product is a portable pizza oven. They’ve grown to 30 employees, and their pizza ovens are available online and distributed through retail outlets like Ace Hardware.

But, the execs of this young company didn’t run through the basics of company naming best practices when they came up with the name: Uuni.

By the way: “Uuni” is pronounced: “OOO-nee.”

But customers & prospects couldn’t pronounce or spell the company name – and the Google algorithm and Microsoft Word couldn’t figure it out either.

  • Pronunciation Gaffes: Customers & prospects would read the name & pronounce it: “YOU-nee.”
  • Spelling Problems: Many customers & prospect were spelling the company name as “UNI.” (See pronunciation problems above.)
  • Auto-Corrector Problems: Microsoft Word was auto-correcting “Uuni” to “Unni.”
  • Google Search Problems: People who thought the company name was UNI couldn’t find the company on the internet, because the Google algorithm thought people were searching for education institutions and would bring up nearby universities in the search results.

As a result of all these problems with the company name, Uuni executives opted to change the company name to something closer to the phonetic pronunciation after 7 years in business. The new company name is: Ooni

The cost of this is a big chunk of change for a growing company to swallow.

If they had followed company naming best practices, this could have been avoided.

Uuni Company Naming Case Study Learning Points

When you’re developing options for a company name, there are many practical tests you should apply to determine if it’s a viable name, or not. Here are the key learning points from this Company Naming Case Study:

Learning Point 1: Choose A Company Name Where the Pronunciation Is Crystal Clear

In the case of Uuni, there were 2 key ways the company name was being pronounced. Any company naming exercise should involve focus group testing to determine how the average consumer think it’s pronounced, especially if it’s a whimsical name.

Learning Point 2: Choose A Company Name That’s Easy To Spell

In the case of “Uuni,” it’s based on the Finnish language and folks in the United States had no idea of how to spell this, hence the typical spelling was “UNI.”

Learning Point 3: Test The Prospective Company Name In Microsoft Word To See If the Auto-Corrector Butchers It

This is a simple test. Pull a one-page document and insert the company name into the text. Then do a spell check & see what the spell checker suggests to change it.

Learning Point 4: Test the Word in Multiple Google Searches In the “Incognito” Mode To See What Happens With Internet Search Results

When you search in the Incognito Search mode, you are telling Google to not factor in your personal search history into bringing up search results. This is a more accurate way to test a proposed company name & see what the Google Algorithm does with search results.

Here’s how to search in “Incognito” mode:

  • Open up Google Chrome on your computer
  • With Chrome activated, see the very top Nav Bar & Click on “File”
  • The third option in the dropdown menu will be: “New Incognito Window”
  • Click on that option and a new Chrome Search Page will appear
  • Conduct your search on this “Incognito Search” page
  • The results that come up in this Incognito Search will not be based on your personal search history

The key point of this Company Naming Case Study: If you’re going to name a company, apply company naming best practices so you can avoid the expenses associated with re-naming the company down the road.

Need help naming a company or product? Contact DeWinter Marketing & PR for help!

Courtney DeWinter

Courtney DeWinter is the president & founder of Denver-based DeWinter Marketing & PR in Denver, Colorado. She is a marketing & PR consultant with 25+ years of experience in branding, marketing, public relations, websites & journalism.

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