It's usually good news when your startup's name sticks and everyone knows it. Sometimes the name sticks for the wrong reason, as mobile payment startup Isis is finding out.
Isis, which was founded by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless and allows users to flash their mobile phone to make payments using Near Field Communication or enhanced SIM cards, has the unfortunate circumstance of having the same name as the militant group, ISIS, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
ISIS, the militants, has made a lot of news, not much of it good.
Now Isis, the startup, is making news — it's changing it's name.
Isis, the startup, posted a message from CEO Michael Abbott yesterday titled "Embarking on a New Brand." Abbott says:
However coincidental, we have no interest in sharing a name with a group whose name has become synonymous with violence and our hearts go out to those who are suffering. As a company, we have made the decision to rebrand.
Abbott says the name change process is just beginning. But I suspect it will be swift.
Props to Isis, the startup, for the bold move. It's never easy to rebrand, but a service as critical as a mobile payment system must first exude confidence in its users. The company must eliminate any doubt, uncertainty or confusion that could compromise that confidence.