business, marketing

Who Named eHarmony.com?

After a few meetings with Neil, Greg F, Galen and Pete I came to believe that the idea to match people based on a personality traits collected in an analytical manner would either change the world of how people find their spouse or it would die quickly. Frankly, I had no idea which was more likely.

My task was to recruit happily married couples and ones who divorced, and collect survey data on hundreds of their behavior and personality traits. I built a web-based survey and needed a URL host the survey. I didn’t want to use my marketing company URL as it might influence how people responded. Instead, I decided to try to come up with a new URL and name for the entity. Since it was 1998, many new Internet companies were being named “i” or “e” something.com. For several days, I floated different names around in my head and bounced them off my wife. There were a few that I liked, but none nearly as much as the one that came to me while driving past a local children’s pre-school. That school was named, The Harmony School, and at that instant, I felt I had a name that could last as a brand and represented the long term mission as I understood it. Today, thanks to the great work by the people who run the company, the name seems to resonate with people and have staying power.

Years later, I heard that when the business was really starting to take off, management felt it was time to establish the ‘big boy’ name for the company. A branding consultancy was hired. People were brought into focus group rooms and new names were tested out on them. The results came back, and it wasn’t even close, their unequivocal favorite was eHarmony.com.