Being the first-to-market has its advantages and adopting the industry generic as our trading name made plenty of sense in the early days.
In a new industry, a descriptive company name, such as Corporate Housing and Corporate Apartments International, helped our prospective clients understand the nature of our product and reinforced our brand leader status. It also helped our search engine ranking, but having created a new fast-growing accommodation category, the copycats soon arrived.
We are still by far the largest corporate housing operator, with a long list of loyal blue-chip clients, but strong branding, or the absence of it, had become an issue.
As the market matures and gets busier, distinctiveness and presence have become more important, especially as we continue our international expansion. Being the best is not enough when competitors choose names similar to ours, deliberately trying to feed off our strong reputation and awareness. We haven’t lost a single client, but to build our business further, attract international partners and break through the accommodation clutter, we needed a brand.
PENSO, a young and dynamic marketing agency was briefed. “Penso” means, “I think” in Italian and they certainly do. They took great trouble to understand our business, our industry and our objectives. The product of their careful consideration was “Convido”.
“Convido” has no meaning in English. It is an artificial construct. By chance, it means ‘I treat”, “I offer” or “I invite” in Spanish and Portuguese and it certainly does have a nice, warm and friendly feel, assisted by the bright, sunny colour. Importantly it can be and has been, registered.