Skift Take

Take it from us -- a startup can create an entire new brand around a name. But, if your startup’s name is off-putting, misleading or doesn’t sound appealing to a traveler’s ears, you’re setting yourself up for a loss.

Each year the travel industry sees a stream of peer-to-peer and B2B travel startups make their way onto smartphones and desktop screens all vying to become the next “Uber of this” or “Airbnb of that” and 2016 was no exception.

For an early-stage startup, one of the most important elements of the business is the name. Travelers have no concept of what service you plan to offer or what kind of pain you hope to soothe when you launch your company. Investors are also unsure of whether to support you if you’ve never worked with them. Both groups look to the name first to answer their questions.

A startup’s name makes first impressions a victory or a defeat difficult to recover from. The travel industry is one where excitement and imagination should flow throughout a company’s entire fabric and make travelers feel comfortable placing their vacations or transportation in its hands.

The travel startup names we reviewed for 2016 were both eye-catching and disappointing and Skift put together a list of five startups with the smartest names and five with the worst from Angellist this year. These names were drawn from our daily startup watch roundups that we put together three times each week.

Note: These lists are based solely on the names of the travel startups from Angellist that launched during the past year. Their placement on a list is unrelated to the quality of their overall missions or how successful they have been — or will be. Here are the lists:

The Smartest

SkiftTake: Travelers have so many thoughts about airline seats that any company that can help them change their seats in hopes for a more pleasant flight and get that across in a name is on the right path.

SkiftTake: Travelers can understand exactly what they get from this name — sharing a room and the costs with other travelers.

SkiftTake: ByPass is catchy and sounds like it helps make your trip a little bit easier.

SkiftTake: A nice play on words, InnSpire has a ring to it that hopefully holds up against the service it actually offers.

SkiftTake: Everyone knows what a room check means from their eighth grade class trips and RoomChecking takes that memory and puts a smart spin on it for hotel staff.

The Not Smartest

SkiftTake: Who wants to use a travel startup who’s name reminds them to weigh themselves?

SkiftTake: We love dads and their jokes but don’t love the term “daddy” in any sense of the word.

SkiftTake: Anything with drab in the title automatically sounds depressing.

SkiftTake: Tacky activities? We’re not sure what we’re supposed to infer from this name.

SkiftTake: A butler at the beach while surfing? Sure…but doesn’t that cram your style a little?


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Tags: angellist, branding

Photo credit: InnSpire helps hotels with their in-room entertainment offerings. InnSpire

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