Byteball Rebranding to Obyte — The next step to real-world adoption

medium.com4y ago

As most of you probably know I started working for Byteball officially on June 1st last year but I have been part of the community for almost 2 years now. I have experienced first hand that a recurring theme has been the discussion about the Byteball name and brand.

Being responsible for strategy there’s one thing I’m absolutely sure of: with the current name we’re never going to achieve worldwide adoption. While the name may sound fine to non-native English speakers, it certainly does not to those who are. And in fact, our goal is worldwide adoption.

I’ve talked to many people in the community and of course, the entire Byteball Core team and that gives me enough confidence to say that there is a vast majority of you who agree that it is a good idea to do a rebrand. It is a big effort, but one that is absolutely, positively, worth it.

Changing an existing brand is always very difficult as you are replacing an emotional brand with a new word, lacking the same emotional attachment.

With that out of the way I want to share with you what we did so far, and what we are going to do in the coming months.

What we did so far

We didn’t just decide overnight that we are going to change the name, we debated the pros and cons endlessly. First in a small team of just me, Steve and Tony and later on we involved the whole core team and the trustees as well.

In several rounds of internal discussions and suggestions we came up with quite a few good candidate names and also the main principles we want the new name to adhere to.

Once we had our options and conditions clear enough we decided to hire a naming agency to help us structure and finalize this process.

We picked 10 top tier worldwide agencies and sent them an extensive briefing. After discussions and proposals from all of them we narrowed our selection down to 3 candidate agencies and from there to 1. The agency we eventually selected is Skriptor Zigilla, the #1 European Naming Agency with impressive international clients like Oppo, Heineken, ING, Philips, Roche, Shell, Vodafone, Bayer and Novartis.

They helped us structure our discussion and their creative team came up with more than a 100 new candidate names. Not to just have a big pool of names to choose from, we had plenty of names ourselves, but to select strategic and creative routes to develop.

The options we explored through all of these candidate names can be described as follows:

Instrumental names; Instrumental Positioning names; Conceptual names; Abstract / Abstracted names.

On top of that we had an extensive list of boring conditions like “can potentially be registered and protected as a Global trademark”, etc. And of course the name has to apply to / not collide with the main design principle of Byteball “Simplicity is Beauty”.

After our first session we had a pretty good list that helped us finetune our selection, here are some examples of what we did not want:

Not too long or complex (e.g. SphereByte, CascaByte); Not close to other brands (e.g. Hubyte → Hubii Network); No clear misspelled components (e.g. TruByte, ByteBux); No phonetically negative connotations (e.g. FlowByte, BriskByte); Not too playful (e.g. CheerByte, FreshByte); Not too vague (e.g. MondoByte, XiByte); No wrong associations (e.g. Bytrum → rum); Not overpromising (e.g. FabByte).

And what we do want:

Short names with a relevant relation to the proposition; Confident names; Something round / sphere related; More abstract / one word names with / derived from the component Byte; Names that sound well.

In our second session it was a lot easier to get down to a short list this way and in our third session we managed to narrow our options down to 5 candidate names!

One of those 5 was our favorite so we decided to do linguistic research on it. After all, we don’t want to make the same mistake twice. The linguistic research resulted in a positive recommendation which means we are going to take it forward and actually go ahead with the renaming and rebranding process!

What we are going to do

Having a new name doesn’t equal having a new brand so the next step is to develop a visual identity to go with the new name. That will take a while so we want to make this a multi step process, roughly like this:

Change impact assessment Plan Rename Temporary visual identity and logo, keep the website + content New visual identity, new website

To create the new visual identity we are going to hire an external agency with extensive experience in rebranding.

Without further ado

From this day forward Byteball will be known as Obyte (IPA: /oʊˈbaɪt/). Where supported, the preferred way of writing is O subscript byte.

Our new name is short, catchy, easy to pronounce, easy to spell and meaningful. Simplicity is beauty.

All social media and other relevant accounts will be updated to reflect the name and logo changes.

Real-world adoption

We are confident that with a new name and this temporary new visual identity we can fully focus on our mission to simplify secure smart contracts to empower people to take control of their own lives. The tech has never been the issue and remains as groundbreaking as it always has been. We’ll keep you updated, meanwhile come chat with us on our Discord, go register your e-mail address for our newsletter and check out the latest distribution method, the Weekly Draw!