A $1.2 Billion Lesson In Branding From Yammer’s CPO: Be Unforgettable

By June 25, 2012

What’s in a name? Would that which we call Yammer by any other name exit so well?

Earlier today, Microsoft confirmed the acquisition of enterprise social networking company Yammer for $1.2 billion in cash. In only four-years the startup built a user-base of over 5 million corporate users, including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500. But how?

While much can be said on the reasons behind Yammer’s success, one has to wonder if the network would have seen as much traction if it would have stuck to its original name, “Workfeed.”  Yammer’s Chief Product Officer James Patterson revealed on Quora that while descriptive, its prelaunch name “Workfeed” was proving too forgettable. Yammer, which means “persistent communication,” was a good fit for the business communication tool, but it was the name’s ability to stick in their staff’s head that won the team over.