The Search for TUNE

This is a moment dreamed of by every CMO. Not only rebranding, but actually changing our company’s name to match the direction we’re heading, and doing it with the foundation we already have of amazing and talented people. Pulling this off is probably one of the most rewarding things I’ll do in marketing, and I couldn’t be more proud of the result.

Lee, Peter, and Lucas of TUNE at the beach

Though I’m the CEO now, my first position was CMO and I’ve continued to lead the marketing team with directors Jennifer Wong, Justin Vanning, and Jonah Kai Hancock. I have to admit I think it is pretty fun to be the CEO of a company that builds products for marketers while being a marketer myself, and these leaders along with the entire marketing team make it possible. Cheers to you three and everyone on the marketing team for so many extra hours and passion poured into this project. You are the reason we were able to make this happen.

Since launching the MobileAppTracking product at the end of 2011, we’ve been itching to find a new company name that would sit above our products and speak more about who we are and what we are building. We’ve had tremendous success across both of our products, and we needed to both distinguish them in the market and also pull them together under one brand. It has been a bit of a complicated story, birthing one startup inside another one, but it seems much more natural to make this change now that both products have found their legs and and place in the market. All we needed is to find one name, one banner, to unite our teams that gives us plenty of room to grow together.

THE SEARCH…

We knew what we didn’t want. We knew we didn’t want to include the words “ad” or “app” in the name. We knew we wanted it to produce some kind of thought or feeling, while still relating to what we do in some way. I have to say we took a lot of inspiration from Flurry. I have long thought it was an incredible name and the company has done an amazing job of building the Flurry brand behind it. Lastly, we wanted to shoot for a one or two word name, and preferably an English word. Now THAT narrowed our options, ha.

We scoured the Internet, played naming games, built word clouds and word associations, and did all the usual stuff you do or pay an agency to do. All the while knowing in the back of our minds we needed things like the dot-com domain, the Twitter alias, etc. This made the search even more grueling. One of the exercises I did was look at domains I could even possibly get my hands on, working with several domain brokers and tools. I have to say that this certainly made us think more creatively about what a name could look like for us. In the end, after all of this thinking and searching, we only had a few potentials that would even make sense, and there was one in particular that just kept standing out.

TUNE

I had so many different reactions to this idea. I first introduced the name by itself to a few folks on the executive and marketing teams back in January. Some good reactions, some bad. As you might imagine, some people had an immediate concern with the association with music, and though I could see this being a potential problem as well, there were several things which alleviated those concerns.

People said, “what if someone confuses you with some music streaming startup?” To which I thought, “AWESOME.” As a B2B company, name association to what we do is much less important to us than name recognition. Look at Fiksu. What the heck does their name mean? Yet they’ve built a known, respected, and well-executed brand. Our people are the ones that back up our brand, and if someone associates us with something they love, like music, great! Jamie Stevens (previously at MOZ, now at Ookla) is one of the people I respect the most when it comes to brand building, and he confirmed this notion for me by immediately saying “anyone who says that you don’t want to be associated with music knows nothing about branding B2B.” Ha! That made me think about all the really fun things we COULD do with the name from creative materials to events to messaging to gifts.

Hmmm… Maybe this thing really has potential.

So we started to craft the story. We talked about what this name could mean for us and how it could represent our history and the products we’ve created. Is TUNE something our five-year-old company could wear as a badge? The name separated itself more and more from any others on our list and quickly felt like the only option we could even consider. We built a presentation to tell this story and share across our leadership team, advisors, and a few outsiders. And you know what? When I showed this presentation to anyone, I got a 100% yes. Amazing what a little marketing will do ;)

TUNE.COM IS BORN

Then came the really fun stuff. This is where we get creative. I have the privilege to work with one of the best creative directors in the business, David Schacht. He manages a team of incredibly talented, passionate, and inventive designers who did 100% of the design work for the logo, the mark, the website, the materials, EVERYTHING! When I tell knowledgeable people that this entire project was done in-house, they are astonished. I am so so proud of all the work they have done. This is a major milestone for their careers, not just for our company. — To all of you on the Tune creative team, I’m thankful for the long hours and passion put into this project. Wow.

As you might guess, a change of this proportion touches so many people across the organization, and yesterday we flew the entire company to HQ in Seattle. From Tel Aviv, London, Berlin, New York City, Seoul, and San Francisco, we brought everyone together for this moment, to take this step into our future as a team.

TUNE Company Photo

If you know me, you know that by now I’m getting emotional as I write this. I feel like we are the luckiest company in the world. We’re doing what we love, with people we enjoy, and the support we have from customers and partners is overwhelming. We have accomplished so much together, been through adversity and risen to the top, and we have so much more to do. I sleep easy every night as a CEO knowing we’ve assembled a passionate group of people who will stop at nothing to help our clients succeed and create technologies that make a real difference in the ecosystem.

When this blog post goes live, I will have just stepped off the stage at our own conference here in Seattle, called Postback, where I will have announced our new name. Right now, I’m trying to imagine what that moment will feel like. Seeing the faces of 400+ people from across the mobile marketing ecosystem who have become my friends, telling them how much I am moved by their support, and heading into a night of celebration. I hope we will all remember this night for a very long time.

The lives we are getting to live right now are astonishing. Have you stopped to think about that recently? Whether you think we’re in a mobile bubble right now or not, I hope you take the time to realize how crazy this is. The opportunity is huge, the people are fun, technologies are evolving, and customers are engaging.

I am beyond fortunate to be a part of this community and team, building technology for the future and doing our best to make mobile marketing better, for everyone.

To our team, clients, and partners, thank you from HasOffers. Now please say hello to TUNE.

Peter Hamilton

Born and raised in West Texas, Peter began his early career in classical music as a trained opera singer. His travels and interests in internet content eventually lead him to explore user experience and online discovery in 2005 when he began to develop skills in online marketing from SEO and display to performance marketing. Peter met partners Lucas and Lee in 2009, which gave him an opportunity to provide a solution for marketers with a data driven product for tracking and attributing performance for advertising relationships. The original product, HasOffers.com, was a quick success and with only founder funds the company continued to grow at 100% year over year. In November 2011, the company launched MobileAppTracking.com which quickly became the global leader in attributing mobile app advertising with clients like Supercell, Kayak, ABC.com, Spotify, Uber, and HotelTonight, and in May 2013 TUNE raised $9.4 million from Accel Partners. Peter resides in Seattle, WA, the location of the TUNE headquarters. Follow @peterhamilton