Rebranding ZipMessage to Clarityflow
My SaaS product that was known as ZipMessage up until now will be changing its name to Clarityflow.
This strategic move has been a year in the making. Here’s the story of how I got here…
A year ago I started noticing some troubling signs with my SaaS:
Some churn, some lifers, and everything in between.
Steady volume of signups, but every one looked different and saw our product differently.
Our 1st year growth wasn’t continuing…
I needed to get to the bottom of what’s going on. So I spent the Spring & Summer ‘22 interviewing my customers. A lot of em.
I used the jobs-to-be-done interview approach and documented my learnings (and process) on Twitter at the time.
My first ah-ha moment: Finding my best customer
My first ah-ha moment came quickly: Of all the customer types that were using my product, coaches were by far best. They saw the most value. They rarely churned. Most importantly, their clients saw just as much value in using our product with their coach as the coach did.
Looking back, I kick myself because I remember seeing this pattern (coaches using our product) from the very start of the business in early 2021. I even considered niching down to coaches from day one, but… I didn’t.
That was a mistake.
My second ah-ha: Understanding my customer’s problem.
By Fall ‘22, after many more conversations with coaches, another ah-ha moment appeared:
Coaches kept trying to duct-tape our product alongside 2-3 other tools, but this solution was clunky (at best). Especially for their clients.
The same patterns showed up in every call:
Coaches often store their coaching libraries in couseware products.
Coache’s clients need to move from payment, to course to coaching to community, often jumping between 4 tools.
That’s a lot of duct tape!
Our unique position
It occurred to me that ZipMessage was uniquely positioned to solve the common coaching workflows I was seeing, because we took a conversations-first approach to our product since day 1.
Here are 4 unique problems our product can solve for coaches. I’m quoting the from the official announcement blog post I published today:
Coaches often keep a library of reusable content such as video lessons, mental models, frameworks, and assessments. In Clarityflow, a coach can be in conversation with a client and hand-select the most relevant items from their library, all within the same conversational flow.
Coaches offer personalized guidance alongside courses. Rather than sending clients to a separate website to access a course or to ask questions, Clarityflow seamlessly combines courses and conversations. Clients can enroll in a personalized course and ask questions, all in the same conversational flow.
Coaches host groups, run cohorts, and offer community. Instead of directing clients to a separate forum or chatroom (which can be clunky at best and a ghost town at worst), Clarityflow allows you to bring client groups together in a branded area where all their conversations for this group or cohort can take place.
Coaches handle payments from clients and grant access accordingly. Some coaches manually invoice their clients, while others sell through one tool but end up inviting their clients to access it through multiple other tools, causing confusion. Clarityflow simplifies this process tremendously by allowing you to take payments directly in the conversational flow. You can sell subscriptions that grant clients access to conversations or a coaching group.
The decision to change our name
Our roadmap’s been locked on this coaching direction since late ‘22. But I wasn’t yet sold on the idea of changing our name.
I felt that changing our name would be too risky. It would be too much extra work. It would be a distraction.
Those things may be true, but by January ‘23, I came around: This strategy needs the best chance of success. That would require a rebrand.
The project of rebranding
…is kinda insane. And not much fun (to me).
Hours of doomscrolling domain sites and word associations, trying to narrow down a shortlist.
It feels too easy to screw up. Constant second guessing. Outside opinions, while well-meaning, often aren’t helpful.
Instead of circling around a handful of potential name ideas with no end in sight, I set a hard 30-day deadline to settle on whatever my front-runner choice is at that time, and go with that.
By the end of January 2023, I had settled on Clarityflow and purchased the domain.
Checking the boxes
Here’s why the name Clarityflow checked all my boxes:
✅ Meaningful to coaches & their clients without using the word “coach”.
✅ It fits as a name for a coaching platform in a way that ZipMessage didn’t.
✅ I could buy the .com without modifiers like “get”, “use”, “app”, etc.
Back to work…
Today’s announcement is just one step in a series of upcoming changes to rollout:
- Launching all new pricing in April
- Changing domains
- Onboarding early-access customers
- Launching new marketing projects
- Continuing our aggressive product roadmap
Launching our new website
Come see it at Clarityflow.com!
As of this writing (March 2023), it’s a one-page preview of what’s to come at Clarityflow. Soon, we’ll be filling out the site with all of our product marketing pages and content. Then officially redirecting ZipMessage.com to Clarityflow.com
I’m glad to finally have the new name “out there”. Now it’s back to work on our roadmap :)