Appliances Online's Founder Says Its Brand Name Has Stopped The Business From Expanding Into Furniture

Appliances Online founder John Winning says his business’ name has limited it from taking up other opportunities.

“I do believe that the name, being so simple, easy to remember, easy to spell has helped us get to where we are,” he told a Macleay College conference yesterday.

“Unfortunately, I do believe that I’ve limited myself to what I can sell on the website.

“We have warehouses, two-man delivery trucks, all these things … we’re just set up to be able to sell furniture online except that our name doesn’t allow us to.”

Winning started Appliances Online in 2005, when he was 21 years old and working in his family’s bricks and mortar retailer, Winning Appliances.

Speaking on a panel with Pandora Radio’s Jane Huxley, Pamper Hampers’ Bianca Kristallis, Matt Noffs of the Tedd Noffs Foundation and UberGlobal founder Michael McGoogan, Winning said he tended to set 1-2 year goals for Appliances Online, with an overarching, long-term dream that was almost “completely out of reach”.

All the panellists aimed to expand their businesses overseas, he noted.

UberGlobal’s McGoogan said naming his start-up wasn’t a major concern for him.

“I founded McGooHQ Internet Communications – based off my surname – as my first sole trader. It got very cleverly shortened to McGooHQ Pty Ltd.

“We rebranded the company to be AussieHQ, not doing any marketing, testing whatsoever.

“Several years later … when we tested this name on people who didn’t know what our business was, no offense to John Symond but the number one response was ‘dodgy home loans and insurance’ – not quite the cloud upstart space that I was looking for.

“We went through a slightly bigger exercise … in 2010 when we rebranded to UberGlobal, which I still am not in love with.

“The branding exercise is a complicated one [but] there is the ability to change it later down the track when you when you have money to burn on marketing consultants, focus groups and case studies and things like that.”

Here’s what panellists said about naming their businesses:

Now read: How To Name Your Startup

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