Brian Dean, the Co-founder of Exploding Topics, talks about their rebranding from Trennd to ExplodingTopics, why a brand name is super important for any brand and what are the most 3 important things in the world of business.
What is the story behind ExplodingTopics?
Exploding Topics originally started as a tool called “Trennd”. My co-founder, Josh, wanted to create a tool that bubbled up trending topics in different industries. And have a community to discuss ideas around those topics (kind of like “Product Hunt for topics”).
When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on ExplodingTopics?
Once I got involved with Josh, the first thing we did was change the brand name from Trennd to Exploding Topics. To me, a brand name is super important. And Trennd was difficult to spell and remember which is why changing our brand name was priority #1.
How did you get the domain name ExplodingTopics.com for your brand? Why did you select that one exactly?
We were fortunate that the .com was available. We also considered “Exploding Trends”. But many of the domains (including the .com) were registered already. So we ended up going with “ExplodingTopics.com”.
How has owning ExplodingTopics.com affected your business? Do you own any other domain names?
It’s been a game-changer. Trennd was actually a .co. Which made the domain even harder to remember. Yes, I own about 50 domain names. I’m a big believer in the power of a memorable .com.
“Trennd was actually a .co. Which made the domain even harder to remember.”
Who is your target customer and how is your brand name helping in reaching them?
Our target customers for Exploding Topics are made up largely of VCs and serial entrepreneurs. Both groups are super interested in what’s coming next in terms of products, trends and startups.
The original brand name did an OK job conveying this. But Exploding Topics is much more straightforward. In fact, the brand sort of describes what we do in two words.
How do you keep your brand consistent across different channels online and offline?
One word: design. People don’t usually spend much time reading website copy. Instead, they use a site’s design to tie a brand together between different channels. So we really focus on making sure the brand has a consistent look and feel one every channel we’re on (Twitter, email etc.).
Why should entrepreneurs value their brand?
At the end of the day, your brand is what you are, what you do and who you serve. I can’t think of anything more important than those 3 things in the world of business!
“At the end of the day, your brand is what you are, what you do and who you serve. I can’t think of anything more important than those 3 things in the world of business!”
Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?
We actually started Exploding Topics right around when the pandemic started. So we haven’t been able to really see a big difference. That said, trends have accelerated a lot faster during the pandemic. So it’s possible that people are more interested in finding trends now than they were pre-pandemic.
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
I focus on 3 metrics: traffic, leads and sales. Different channels drive each metric more than the other. But they’re all interconnected. For example, if I’m looking at SEO, I want to see traffic go up. But it’s also important to make sure that traffic is driving more leads and sales over the long-term.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general, and when it comes to branding and naming?
Spend a lot of time on it. But don’t prevent it from getting started. You can always change it later. Google was originally BackRub.
Where do you see your business in the future and how does your brand name fit into that vision?
Right now our goal is to help VCs see what’s coming around the corner. Our brand name does a decent job of that. But we need to follow that up with brand messaging, design and content that supports our brand name.
We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.