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February 2021 recap: Which brands and domains made headlines
By Kristina Misic access_time 9 min read

Let us review some of the most interesting branding and domain name news we observed in the past 28 days.

SocialSurvey Rebrands to Experience.com

On February 1st, SocialSurvey officially rebranded to Experience.com after acquiring the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name. As you can see, they decided to include the .com in their brand name. We are not surprised, they are certainly proud of this magnificent branding move! The company is planning to expand its workforce and platform features, implementing recently acquired AI and machine learning technology, with a number of acquisitions and partnership announcements planned. With such a great domain, we have no doubt about their success.

Topshop among 4 retailers to go online after buyout by Asos

Online fashion giant ASOS has bought Arcadia Group’s brand lineup, including millennial fashion favorite Topshop, as well as Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT. Since buying clothes is becoming an activity to be done on a laptop or a phone, Asos now takes these iconic brands online. Are these online-only stores taking over our high streets? Time will tell, but now it seems that it will be so.

New rules for .au domain names are coming

The .au Domain Administration has announced new auDA Rules that will change the eligibility, allocation and terms for .au domain registration and renewal. New rules will take effect on April 12th, 2021.

Many apps will no longer be able to reach their customers via targeted Facebook ads?

This February, it seems that  Facebook is taking Apple up on its offer for any developer to explain why it wants certain permissions for tracking.  Since Apple had announced last year that it will begin a new slew of privacy controls, Facebook said that it is testing a new pop-up alert for iPhone and iPad users that stresses the benefits of its apps collecting personal data. It is something a lot of developers will be looking to do when iOS 14 updates for privacy, that’s for sure.

Aunt Jemima finally has a new name

The name “Aunt Jemima”, long criticized as a racist caricature of a Black woman stemming from slavery,  will be replaced with the Pearl Milling Company name and logo. The rebranded Pearl Milling Company said that the new name was workshopped with “consumers, employees, external cultural and subject-matter experts, and diverse agency partners,” and “developed with inclusivity in mind.” However, the name is getting battered online for sounding like an unappetizing “gravel mining company” or “a James Bond villain.” Who said naming things is easy, right?

Google says money is moving back to brand building on its platforms

The technology giant says money is moving back to brand building on its platforms as brands look to “keep their brands in front of people to stay top of minds”. Investing in something that is the foundation of their online presence? Makes sense? Of course it does.

Bank of Ireland has cited a seismic shift to digital banking 

Bank of Ireland said it has taken a decision to close 103 branches in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as the acceleration in digital banking has now reached a “tipping point”. Yup, it’s all happening right before your eyes, the pandemic has accelerated the industry’s transition to digital banking.

Oil giant Total rebrands to Total Energies

French oil giant Total announced that it would change its name to Total Energies as it seeks to transition away from oil products. Although rebrands are usually used for simplifying/shortening a name, this makes an interesting example of how adding a descriptive word to communicate the company’s new mission and direction can work too.

SpamCop suffered an outage after its domain was mistakenly allowed to expire

Oops. Cisco’s SpamCop anti-spam service suffered an outage after its domain was mistakenly allowed to expire. You can definitely take notes on this one… Once you’ve registered your domain and built up your web presence around it, don’t let it expire. As you can see, this happens more than you would expect. Cisco’s SpamCop anti-spam service sure understands the feeling, we are absolutely sure that this mistake will never happen to them again.

Kar’s Nuts is changing its name to Second Nature Brands

As the company seeks to broaden its portfolio and position itself with better-for-you offerings, the maker of Sweety ‘N Salty trail mix and Sanders Chocolates decided to change its name to Second Nature Brands. “It’s a great brand but kind of puts us in one specific category,” said CEO Victor Mehren.

Mr. Potato Head drops ‘Mr.’ from brand name

Hasbro Inc is going to rename its popular Mr. Potato Head. The brand will drop the ‘Mr.’, giving the “Potato Head” line a less gender-focused identity. We saw in recent years that a number of brands have made an effort to be more inclusive, including Barbie and American Girl Doll so this is a really smart move for Hasbro.

Funding rounds, Exits and Upcoming IPOs in February 2021

Sales at Moonpig more than doubled in the 6 months as lockdowns forced many people to switch to online deliveries of gifts & cards. Well, that is an interesting brand name! Moonpig own its EBM domain Moonpig.com, which means that their audience can easily find them online. Well played, isn’t it?

Valon has raised $50M. The startup invested in its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Valon.com and that surely means they think long-term when it comes to the growth of this platform. How far in the future do you think, when you think about your brand?

Rescale, a San Francisco, California-based startup, has raised $50 million. This power player wisely decided to build the brand on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Rescale.com. How do you identify critical brand assets and align them to design a distinctive brand experience? Rescale definitely gives a lesson on that!

Holded, has raised a €15M Series B funding round. Their domain name Holded.com matches the company name definitely makes it easier for customers to remember and return. How do you make it easy for your potential and current customers to find your business online? Holded attracted 80,000 customers to date, can you beat this number?

Ramp has secured a $150M debt facility with Goldman Sachs. The company owns its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Ramp.com. Short and memorable, this domain will surely stick in minds.

Blueshift has closed a $30 million. The company is planning to put the funds toward expanding its workforce while further developing its marketing platform. They own the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Blueshift.com which will make everything easier.

Lob has raised $50 million. The company operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Lob.com. They have more visitors because .com reflects the global vision for the brand – that’s for sure.

Hyas announced a $16 million round to accelerate growth. The company owns its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Hyas.com that is short and memorable enough to stick in the user’s mind and prompt a visit later. How memorable is your domain name?

Archer landed a $1 billion order from United Airlines and a SPAC deal. ArcherAviation is building its brand on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Archer.com and that surely means they think long-term.

Rocket builder Astra is going public in a deal that values the company at $2.1 billion. Astra owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Astra(.com) which goes a long way toward generating traffic to their website. Doesn’t that make you wonder, how much of my website traffic is direct?

Bumble priced its IPO at $43 per share, ahead of its raised IPO range of $37 to $39 per share. The company has secured the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Bumble.com to establish a strong brand identity and stand out from the competition.

Zolve raised $15 million in a seed financing round. The startup own it EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Zolve.com and now the company is moving from India to the U.S. How adapted is your domain to a global audience? Zolve generates much of its revenue from banking partners in the U.S., and it’s already operating on a profitable model. Pretty inspiring, right?

Nanit is announced that it has raised an additional $25M in a Series C round. Their EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Nanit.com is helping them reach more visitors as .com reflects the global vision for the brand. How do you keep expanding your customer base?

Creatio, a low-code process automation and CRM platform, has raised $68 million in a round of funding. Founded in 2013, Creatio was initially known as BPM’Online before a rebrand in 2019. The company now operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Creatio.com. Should we point out that Creatio has grown organically without any external funding? Yup, it is an impressive feat.

Luckin Coffee, once hailed as China’s homegrown rival to Starbucks, has filed for bankruptcy in the United States. Between the scandal when the coffee chain’s shares slumped after it revealed the discovery of $310m (£250m) in fake transactions and the pandemic, Luckin found themselves forced to shutter many of their underperforming stores.

Fry’s Electronics, the decades-old superstore chain with locations in nine American states, couldn’t survive COVID19. The company will shut down all 30 of its American locations.


We hope you enjoyed reading all the above because this past month was filled with some interesting branding lessons. If you did, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter where we post the most interesting news daily. Now tell us, what caught your attention this February 2021? Feel free to let us know, we’re always happy to hear from you and chat about naming, branding, and domain names.

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