While BillMyParents was a catchy name for a teen-focused payments company, it didn't do much for its message of promoting financial responsibility. So for the third time in four years, the company changed its corporate name.
It now calls itself The SpendSmart Payments Company, a name that matches its flagship product, the SpendSmart MasterCard.
"The new name really perfectly aligns with our core value of teaching responsible spending," says Bill Hernandez, president of SpendSmart Payments Co. "Plus the new name allows the company to expand into other demographics besides the teen segment."
Shortly after launching the BillMyParents alternative payment product in 2009, the company changed its name from IdeaEdge Inc. to SocialWise Inc. and then, a few years later, to BillMyParents Inc.
"Companies changing names frequently as they're growing is not unusual," says Arkady Fridman, a senior analyst at the Aite Group. "Having a name more consistent with its intended goal is just a smarter move."
In January, SpendSmart raised $4.86 million in equity funding, which Fridman says probably served as a catalyst for the latest rebranding. It helps with investor relations to have the name of the company directly correlate to the name of the product, he says.
The BillMyParents product was designed to promote parental involvement in teen spending by allowing parents to approve or deny each online purchase a teen initiates. Despite the product's intention, its name clever as it was made it sound irresponsible.
"BillMyParents resonates really well with youngsters but scares the hell out of parents," says Jim Wells, president of Wellspring Consulting International. "There are other ways to accomplish [appealing to teens] that don't involve the company encouraging people to bill their parents for whatever they're doing."
The company's teen-friendly name was targeting the wrong audience before, says Madeline Aufseeser, senior analyst at the Aite Group.
"BillMyParents was appealing to the teen and young adult market, but ultimately it's the parents who decide what the kids spend money on," she says.
But this frequent rebranding could mean the company isn't gaining traction in the market, she adds.
Hernandez says this isn't the case.
The company signed superstar Justin Bieber to promote the SpendSmart card, following earlier promotions with spokespeople such as skateboarder Rob Dyrdek. Though celebrity endorsements have sometimes caused more harm than good the Kardashian Kard failed within weeks of its launch SpendSmart says Bieber will have a positive influence.