Miguel Ribeiro, Founder & CEO of sheerME, talks about his brand, what are the characteristics of an effective brand name, and why entrepreneurs should value their brand.
SheerME means to us, “absolutely for me”, time for me, to take care of my body and mind.
What do you do and how does your brand name fit into it?
We believe more than ever we need our “Me time”, time absolutely for us. The pandemic crisis showed us that our immune system is fragile, and stress is most present in our day to day, so to balance that out we need to take care of ourselves, with better nutrition, exercise, meditation, yoga, mindfulness and our appearance so we feel more confident and strong.
Having said that, there was no discovery platform that could help me find all that is available, taking into account my location, interests and goals. So creating a platform that is absolutely for us, for our needs, to find time for us, was necessary.
SheerME is that platform where you can find, book and pay (with benefits – cashback) all your wellness and beauty needs, made absolutely for you.
What was the process of selecting a brand name like? When did you know this was the one?
Well… this is not an easy task taking into account the time we live in. Most domain names are already chosen, so finding a company name that makes sense in the market segment that you are looking for, says something “meaningful” and is available as a domain .com is a very difficult task.
Most domain names are already chosen, so finding a company name that makes sense in the market segment that you are looking for, says something “meaningful” and is available as a domain .com is a very difficult task.
We knew our mission, that we wanted to make well-being accessible to all in a platform, we also knew that people value “me time”, so when we combined words that made sense to us, we found sheerME and that the domain was available. Those two facts made the choice easier. Once we had the domain name, we started looking into a logo that would be aligned with our mission and that is when we crossed the Enso that we knew had to be our symbol within the logo.
We know it’s not something that is 100% clear to everyone, but once people know what it means, they value more even 😉
How has owning sheerME.com affected your business? Do you own any other domain names?
Yes, we have other domains and other smaller online businesses, but sheerME.com is our life’s project and we are 100% dedicated to making it global.
How has sheerMEevolved as a brand since you launched?
We believe that a brand is in constant evolution, aligned with our higher-level mission statement – Making well being accessible to all – we are now in the process of breaking that down and creating the product, communication cohorts, and guidelines aligned to what our audience really needs and values. We are always looking for feedback and adapting our strategy to it. We believe that we have to be flexible as a brand to be aligned to the needs of our users and clients, so we are and always be on a stage of 1% done.
Why should entrepreneurs value their brand?
Brands create trends, companies pass on beliefs and mission statements, so this gives the founder, the CEO and entrepreneurs extra responsibility on what they drive their businesses to be.
What kind of Brand do we want to build? What kind of values and principles do we drive? Are we sure we are aligning the principles of our brand to the “greater good”?
These are questions we should ask ourselves as entrepreneurs or founders when we are creating a brand. The brand and what it appears to be is what people will know you for. So the brand, the culture, the principals need to be aligned so your brand has the value it should drive your business to success. This is my personal philosophy.
Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?
The pandemic crisis affected all businesses and ours as well, but it was the driver for the launch of sheerME. Our Portuguese government made it mandatory for people to book all their beauty and wellness services, we understood this as an opportunity and we launched.
Right after that, the total lockdown happened in Europe and that put our business into a stall. This created some funding issues, as we were about to start our fundraising for a seed round. With the market closed, uncertainty and the hit that the crisis had in business we had to rethink our strategies. So we focussed the lockdown time in strengthening our product… thinking about how we can bring more value to users and merchants. And we created the sheerME Booking Manager and what we call today sheerPAY (launched on June 15th) – payments, Wallet and Cashback. Now when a user books and pays his/her services on sheerME, they gain 5% cash back in their wallet to use (discount the amount) on their next booking. This “changed the game” as we had L’Oréal sponsor the wallet and offer 10€ to all our users to motivate them to do their first booking. So despite the challenges that a crisis brings… it always brings opportunities if you can see past the problem.
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
We try to adapt our marketing to “moments” of the company’s maturity, the season of the year and market feedback.
Only by listening to the market’s feedback can we align our product and services to really go side by side with the true market needs.
What do our users need? What are we doing well? What and where can we improve? How are we helping our partners? How can we help more?
Only by constantly asking questions will we be able to have our marketing aligned with the real market needs. It has to make sense to our audience, not only to us. We are making this for them… so we need to listen, adapt, and implement fast.
After that we measure results, we look into data. What worked? What can be improved? What shouldn’t we repeat? Data guides us to make the best decisions… After all, marketing is 100% trial and error.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general, and when it comes to branding and naming?
I would advise aligning the mission and principles to the naming and branding if possible. There needs to be a story behind the brand.
What is next for sheerME?
For us, going international is of most importance, so we will be strengthening our position in our current market, but try to expand internationally fast, as we have a differentiating product that will be well received in specific markets we are looking to launch.
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.