Remember when your best friend turned 18 and decided that their name wasn’t really representative of who they are as a person, so they changed it to Mercedes? It looks like two-year-old home service app Handybook is going through that. In addition to a new name, Handy, the company launched a rebrand today.
This may be a sign that Handybook is growing up. Last week the startup announced that Jeff Pedersen, a former executive at Amazon, will be the company’s new CFO. But that’s just the latest hire. Over the course of 2014, Handy has been busy picking up new hires for leadership positions from established brands and startups like WeightWatchers, Soap.com, and Foursquare.
The company also picked up a fresh $30 million round of funding in June. Despite this, founder and CEO Oisin Hanrahan says the company doesn’t plan to expand to any more cities — it currently operates in 28. Rather, he wants to focus on expanding within the cities where Handy already offers services.
The name change to Handy may play a role in that strategy. “We did a bunch of one-on-one surveys with customers, interviews with customers. We did a lot of listening to customer service phone calls and listening to the calls around the name, and that drove some of the decisions,” Hanrahan said.
He said many customers didn’t understand the ‘book’ part of the name. The ‘book’ part of the name was supposed to represent ‘booking,’ as in book a handyman. “When you talk to our customers the name didn’t quite fit with what they were expecting when they were talking about Handybook,” said Hanrahan. It’s a pretty big problem if your customer base, or potential customer base doesn’t understand the service you provide as a result of your name.
And Handy needs to stay competitive with other home service booking apps, like HomeJoy.
The site redesign replaces animation with photography, which Hanrahan said helps build trust with consumers. “We are building a brand that’s based on trust. We need our customers to trust us to let us into their homes … so anything that we can do to build trust faster. We’ve user tested photography versus animation. Real world photographs build trust faster than animation.”
He says the functionality of the service will stay the same, just the appearance has changed. You can see the new site here.
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