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Weekly newsletter of SmartBranding - Issue #7
By SmartBranding Team access_time 8 min read

Substack broke up with us and is giving us the silent treatment, with no reason

Yep, if you were wondering why you didn’t get our newsletter this Monday, that’s it. We just got a message that our publication violated the terms of Substack. There was no real reason provided and so far we have no answer to what terms or/and guidelines exactly – we talk about branding and naming, no controversial topics really…Oh well, we tried.

On the bright side, we are doing what we preach – we’ll be hosting our newsletter on our own website and manage our mail list internally, thanks Substack for the valuable lesson. Turns out many creators are leaving the platform, citing those same guidelines that seem to be enforced in weird ways. Lesson learnt.

Onwards and upwards, here are the news from this week!

AllGear Digital: A New Name for a Company on the Rise

Lola Digital Media has announced a rebrand to AllGear Digital. The business has secured a .com domain that exactly matches its new brand name.

The rebranding comes after the company raised $40 million in financing and made several acquisitions, including The Inertia and WildSnow. AllGear Digital, which was founded in 2018 and has an audience of over 60 million readers, operates a network of media sites that cover fitness, automotive, cycling, running, surfing, and the outdoors. Read the full story here.

Zappi: AI-Powered Business Growth for Global Brands announces funding

Zappi was founded in 2012 by Brendan McLean and Stephen Phillips. Initially, it was called ZappiStore, but it later shortened its name to just Zappi by removing “store” from the name. After rebranding, the company began using the domain name The .io domain extension is a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) that is assigned to British Indian Ocean Territory. Country code domains, such as .io, can offer more freedom of choice, but they can also bring potential risks.

According to data from Whoxy, Zappi has recently secured the domain name, which currently points to

The business recently secured $170 million in growth capital from Sumeru Equity Partners. Follow the story here. A Personalized Search Experience Powered by AI and backed by Salesforce’s Founders, a new search engine founded by former Salesforce employees Bryan McCann and Richard Socher, aims to offer an alternative to Google’s search experience using artificial intelligence to personalize results.

The company was launched in 2020, and raised $20 million in funding led by Salesforce founder Marc Benioff in 2021. Interesting to know is that Benioff is the previous owner the domain name domain. Benioff transferred ownership of the domain to the startup.

Marc is known for his love for good domains and owns quite a few, among which and He also gifted domain to Steve Jobs. We covered the story in this post.

FindHotel Rebrands to, Reflecting its mission to Help People Find the Best Accommodation at the Best Price

FindHotel has announced its rebrand to The company, which has been operating under the name for the past six years, felt that a new brand and domain were necessary in order to support its growth and ambitions.

According to FindHotel, the decision to rebrand was driven by the company’s desire to have a name and visual identity that better reflects its mission to help people find the best accommodation at the best price.

The new name,, is derived from the Latin word for “I travel” and is intended to be representative of the global community of travelers that the company serves. More about this rebrand here.

X Delivery Transforms to Better Reflect its Mission and Core Principles

Maergo (previously known as X Delivery) is a revolutionary national parcel delivery platform that helps high-growth brands ship faster, cheaper, and more sustainably. Their expansive network allows for quick delivery and reduces carbon emissions, enabling brands to enhance their customers’ post-purchase experience. By leveraging modern technology and data analytics, Maergo is disrupting traditional carriers and empowering leading brands to boost sales and customer satisfaction.

In order to better reflect its mission and core principles, the company recently underwent a comprehensive rebrand, including a change in its name to Maergo. Learn more about this brand’s journey here.

In other news

Here are the stories from other publications that caught our attention.

Reviving Personal Blogging: As Social Media’s Luster Fades, It’s Time to Bring Back the Personal Touch

In the early days of the internet, personal blogging was a defining feature of the web. It allowed individuals to share their thoughts and connect with like-minded individuals in a way that was not possible before. The emergence of social media platforms like Twitter has changed the way we consume and share information, but the personal and community-driven aspect of blogging is something that is sorely missed. In this article, Monique Judge from TheVerge, explores the nostalgia of the early days of blogging and the longing for a return to a more connected and personal online experience.

Unstoppable Domains: Empowering Web3 Identities with Brad Kam

Brad Kam is the Co-Founder of Unstoppable Domains, a Web3 domain name provider working to onboard the world onto Web3. With his background as a co-founder of marketing tech company Talkable and a degree in Political Science from Emory University, Kam brings a unique perspective to the concept of Web3 identities. In this piece, Kam shares his thoughts on the value of owning and controlling your data on the internet, the Innovator’s Dilemma and the evolution of the internet from the Web2 era to Web3 and the need of having decentralized infrastructure for the internet.

Top 10 Domain Name Industry Stories of 2022

GoDaddy Corporate Domains’ Head of Marketing, Elisa Cooper, takes a look back at the year’s biggest stories in the domain name industry. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Cooper shares her insights on the most surprising and impactful events that shaped the industry this year. From new regulations to emerging trends, this list provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the domain name industry in 2022.

Fanatics Divests 60% Stake in NFT Company Candy Digital, Citing Lack of Sustainability

Michael Rubin’s sports platform company, Fanatics, has announced its decision to divest its 60% stake in NFT company, Candy Digital, according to an internal email obtained by CNBC. The email, written by Rubin, cites several reasons for Fanatics’ decision. He writes that over the past year, it has become clear that NFTs are unlikely to be sustainable or profitable as a standalone business, as 99% of the business comes from physical collectibles. Instead, the company believes digital products will have more value and utility when connected to physical collectibles, providing the best experience for collectors. The divesture is clear indication that NFT industry is still struggling to find its footing and not sure about its profitability for the long term. Check the story in more detail on CNBC.

Hyatt House Rebrands to Target Leisure Travelers and Compete Against Short-term Rentals

In an effort to compete against the growing threat of home rental platforms, Hyatt has announced a rebrand of its Hyatt House hotel chain. The new marketing campaign, which launched in September, emphasizes the idea of “home” and is focused on attracting leisure travelers rather than just business travelers.

The new slogan “Home is Where” reflects Hyatt’s efforts to make its properties feel more like home to guests, with the campaign highlighting aspects of home such as waking up with pets or working in sweatpants. With demand for leisure travel driving the company’s recovery, Hyatt is looking to diversify its customer base and bring in more travelers on family getaways and blended leisure and business trips. Learn more on

Quote of the Week

This week’s quote comes from this article and will make you question what’s a good investment in your brand.

Stadium naming rights have little to no impact on the sponsor brand for specific sponsors according to two-thirds of the consumers surveyed, and less than one-third of those surveyed were aware of recent stadium naming-rights changes at high-profile NFL, MLB, and NBA stadiums.

Elevent’s website

We hope this information has been helpful as you work to establish a strong online brand. If there’s anything specific you’d like to see covered in our next newsletter, please let us know and we’ll do our best to provide the information you need. Learn more about us or get in touch.

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