It’s Good When Your Startup Name Becomes a Verb

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Remember Between? The messaging application for couples? At the recent Global Brain event held in Tokyo last Friday, the Korean startup mentioned in its pitch that the word “Between” is becoming a verb used in relationships.

For example: “Would you between with me?” It would basically mean do you want to be my girlfriend/boyfriend. Or in a less direct way, “Do you use Between?” is a means of figuring if someone is single. It’s sort of like how many of us use terms like “Google it” and “Facebook me.”

The way people in Korea uses the word “between” didn’t happen naturally – there was a bit of clever marketing involved in implanting the word as a verb in our daily lives. Edward Lee, co-founder of the startup, explained that a video (embedded below, in Korean) was released to potentially create such an association. He told me:

There weren’t explosive views [on the video], however I think it could have played a role in building this image within Korea. I think our marketing methods and focus on our target groups to position Between as the symbol of commitment has played a great role in creating this organic virality.

After the video was released, Edward and team observed that people on social media, blogs, and online communities started using “between” as a way to start a relationship. The viral impact among online communities didn’t skyrocket downloads. But Edward noted that the number of constant users acquired has increased compared to previous months.

But this simple case study proves how important a product name could be. The word Between is catchy, expresses what the product is built for, and is easily morphed into a verb.

Between now has a total of 1.94 million downloads with 25 to 30 percent of those being daily users.

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