In a blog post published on Thursday, 29th July 2021, the increasingly popular live audio chat app, Clubhouse announced that it will be changing its brand to Shortcut. As Kurt Schrader, the company’s CEO and Co-founder announced via the blog post:
“Please note that our name change will not officially happen until the second week of September. Nothing is changing today. And when we do change our name, the way our product works won’t be any different. We’ll just be at shortcut.com instead of clubhouse.io, and your old links will simply redirect to the new site. We’ll share many more details about this change as we get closer to September.”
While the company agrees that Clubhouse was a good name choice, they realize that as a fast-growing brand, they need to evaluate their brand standing and reposition it for success. As of February 2021, the app had topped over 8 million downloads globally, despite being in pre-launch, invite-only mode, representing a growth rate of over 233% within six months. With its new move at rebranding, the company is moving out of beta testing as it had announced on the 22nd of July, 2021, and hoping to consolidate on its quick rise to popularity. A good deal of this popularity has been fueled by the appearance of several high-profile guests, such as Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the platform. It had spent over 16 months in invite-only exclusivity and testing, and 14 months in iOS restricted usage. These were done so as to control-test its features and look at ways of improving to meet market needs. Presently, it is recorded that more than 500,000 rooms are created daily, and that the average Clubhouse user spends more than 60 minutes daily engaging on the dynamic platform. As Paul Davison, Co-founder of the startup points out, regarding its presence in Nigeria:
“Clubhouse is focused on its vision of building an exciting, thriving, creator community in Nigeria and around the world.”
Kurt Schrader and Andrew Childs (Pivotnine, 2020).
With this new name, the company is hoping to put forward a brand presence that communicates snappy, memorable, and unique experiences, imply collaboration with individual people and their work in uniting to build a greater whole, as well as capturing how software development is seen as not linear and structured, but as ordo ab Chao (order from chaos). In their search for a new name, they outline how they amazingly had to read the entire dictionary front to back five times, visited the ancient Doolin Caves of Ireland to sit in the dark and listen to echoes, and asked passing crows for their opinions (laughs boisterously), and finally had to pull random letters out of a scrabble bag to take a chance at fate.
Instead of all these, they decided they just needed a Shortcut. While they emphasize that this choice of a new name does not in any way detract from their service culture, they point out that this meant to be a better vehicle for it. The brand is growing exceedingly, with a lot of persons being more drawn towards social audio platforms. This new upsurge of interest in social audio is taking the place of other spoken-word audio activities like podcasting and audiobooks. Going forward the brand will be engaging in aggressive advertising to increase top-of-mind awareness of its brand and get itself into the consciousness of many more geographical markets.