What’s in a Name? The Art of InsurTech Naming

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action

Boston, MA (Sept. 12, 2018) – What is it with InsurTech brand names? Among the InsurTechs SMA is tracking (well over 1,000) are a wide range of names ranging from the clever to the practical to the bizarre. Having personal experience with naming, I can understand the challenges of finding something memorable, not already used, and lacking any negative connotations. There is always the option of functional naming, for example when hearing the name Insuresoft it is clear that they create software solutions for the insurance industry.

When I was recently in a whimsical mood, I decided to do an exercise to categorize InsurTech brand names by a number of topics or areas, including food, animals, and human names. This is a sampling of what was found:

• Food

One could make a whole meal out of InsurTech names. The main course could be Oyster, an InsurTech focused on workers’ comp. Fruit sides might be Pear Insurance or Pineapple. There are plenty of drink options with H2O, Lemonade, or Soda Insurance. And dessert – everyone’s favorite – is not lacking in options with Cake or Pie, or maybe even Marshmallow.

• Animals

Comic George Carlin used to wonder who took all the blue food. (Blueberries are not blue, they are purple!) But there are plenty of blue animals in InsurTech, including Blue Owl, Blue Leopard, and Blue Zebra. Then we have animals with descriptors like Bold Penguin, Pandadoc, and PrecisionHawk. And the InsurTech menagerie also includes Hippo, Dolphin, Canary, Rhino and ever a hybrid in CatDogFish. There is even a regular Zebra to go along with Blue Zebra!

• Human Names

Why not anthropomorphize InsurTechs? – We do it with everything else. There is Bob – and if he gets lost there is FindBob. Abe, Albert, Frankie, Gabi, and many others are named after people. Then there is Hi Marley, which is one that does a nice job of creating something unique that also relates to their solution – leveraging texting and messaging platforms to communicate with policyholders and claimants.

There is no question that many of these names are becoming known in the insurance industry, but there are pros and cons for using these types of names. One caution for those selecting names – think about search engine optimization (SEO) and how individuals will discover your site. With enough money, brand visibility can be built for any name. But in many cases funding is limited in the beginning stages and the focus is more on building the solution and getting successful partnerships and projects underway. I have personally had great difficulty finding any information on some of these InsurTechs – even navigating to their websites, due to names that are so common it makes SEO difficult.

Another piece of advice (although I don’t claim to be a branding expert): two-word names (separate or conjoined) offer more options for uniqueness than one-word names – Cake Insure, Young Alfred, and TechCanary would be examples of these. Of course, brands are built, and companies succeed based on the strength or their offerings, their innovation, their customer relationships/experience, and many other factors. But I, for one, am glad that InsurTechs are choosing names that are fun and interesting. So, what’s in a name? I guess it’s what you make of it.

About the Author

Mark Breading, a Partner at Strategy Meets Action, is known for his insights on the future of the insurance industry and innovative uses of technology. Mark consults with insurers and technology companies on forward thinking strategies for success in the digital age. His inventive methods and his ability to incorporate InsurTech and emerging tech into business strategies are unparalleled. Mark also leads SMA’s research program, has overseen the publication of over one hundred research reports, and directed custom research projects for insurer and tech clients. His thought leadership in the areas of InsurTech, emerging technologies, customer experience, and digital strategies has earned him rankings as a “Top Global Influencers in InsurTech” by InsurTech News and Onalytica and a place in the 10 finalists for the “Top Global IoT in Insurance Influencer Award.”

Before joining SMA in 2009, Mark spent 25 years with IBM, where he co-developed IBM’s Account Based Marketing program and led the global project office to implement ABM across all industry verticals worldwide. Mark has held both technical and business roles in sales, consulting, marketing, and business strategy and has advised insurers around the world for almost 30 years.

He is a frequent speaker at industry events; an InsurTech mentor with the Global Insurance Accelerator; and a frequent contributor of articles to Insurance Thought Leadership, Insurance Networking News, LOMA Resource, and many other industry publications.

About SMA

Exclusively serving the insurance industry, Strategy Meets Action (SMA) is an advisory services firm offering retainers, research, consulting, events, and innovation offerings to both insurance companies and solution providers. Learn more about SMA at www.strategymeetsaction.com.

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