see my top biz resources

see my top biz resources

podcast

freebies

template highlight

gabby podcast kit

Oh, you wanna know more?

design

business

marketing

template showcase

personal

listen to the podcast!

I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

Hey there!
of the year

ConvertKit Rebrands to “Kit” — Is It a Mistake? My Thoughts! 

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Today on the podcast, we are talking all about ConvertKit's rebrand to Kit. In case you missed their big announcement of this, don’t worry! I’m sharing all about it today: from my thoughts on the name, what it looks like to rebrand a company of this size, domain name things, and even diving into the last time ConvertKit rebranded and how it relates to all of this. 

I have a spicy opinion on it all that I'm excited to talk about it from the perspective of a brand designer and business owner (and someone who has been a ConvertKit user for many, many years now, loves the company, and supports them wholeheartedly).

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:

Subscribe & download the episode to your device:  Apple Podcasts  |  Spotify  |   YouTube  |  iHeartRadio

Search for episode 275!

ConvertKit Rebrands to “Kit”

If you’re like me when you first heard this announcement, you thought “man, that stinks that they’re rebranding themselves and they probably don’t even own the domain name for the new name.” And then, like me, you typed it into your season bar and saw they did buy the domain, and realized that wow, they’re really serious about this. 

In case you don’t know, ConvertKit is an email marketing software company, or as they say on their site, “More than just a software company. We're here to help you grow your business with email.”

I’ve personally used ConvertKit for years for my own email marketing. It’s a great tool! I love them. So just know as I say everything I’ll say here about the rebrand, it’s from the perspective of someone who completely loves the software and supports the vision, regardless of my feelings about the rebrand. 

Read more: Email List Building Tactics That Actually Work

 

ConvertKit Has Had Huge Growth Over The Last 11 Years

ConvertKit has been around for about 11 years, which when I think about that feels like insane growth. They actually have their company metrics available online for anyone to see and it looks like they make about 40 million dollars annually in recurring revenue from subscriptions, so there’s no doubt it’s a very successful company and awesome product. For comparison, in 2018 when they did the first rebrand attempt, they were at half of that.

 

ConvertKit Announces Their Rebrand to Kit

This year, Nathan Barry, CEO and Founder of ConvertKit announced at their annual conference Craft + Commerce a few weeks ago, he announced 5 new features that all sound awesome, and with those new features, they’re also rebranding to Kit. 

In my opinion though, when you read over those new features and listen to his speech, there’s no clear reason WHY they need a name change to go with the new features. 

 

Here’s what part of the announcement says (you can read the whole thing here)

This is more than just a name change. As Kit, our product philosophy is all about scalability and giving you the actionable insights you need to grow your business. And because each creator business is unique, the features in your Kit can be tailored just for you. 

We’re building the operating system for the creator economy. That starts with:

  • An app store where anyone can develop and expand on Kit to bring in extra tools
  • A central hub for your data with enhanced reporting to pull insights from
  • The biggest and best Creator Network to help you find new collaboration partners
  • Improvements to the features you already know and love using to run your business.

So as you can see, there are a lot of cool new features being added. 

 

The Previous Rebrand of ConvertKit (That Was Ultimately Reversed)

It’s very clear to me that Nathan Barry (ConvertKit’s CEO) has wanted to ditch the name ConvertKit for a while now, for whatever reason! I love the name, so I don’t see why as much, but this is definitely a thing he’s feeling.

In 2018, ConvertKit rebranded to Seva (and then ultimately changed it back). When they changed the name, they had a few criteria:

  • It should be one word
  • We need the .com
  • It can’t sound too techy
  • It should be easy to hear and spell over the phone
  • It should mean something tied to our mission

I was using ConvertKit back then and was an affiliate and I remember going on to my website and changing out my ConvertKit logo to the Seva logo for the time being. But it was short lived, and I’m sure it was a huge financial and time loss for the company.

So why did they change it back? 

With the Seva rebrand, the marketing around it was that Seva means “selfless service” and therefore related to serving your audience through email marketing and the other tools. There was a TON of backlash, with headlines like “Convert Kit is changing their name to Seva and they are ripping off my culture.” Seva is ultimately a word that has deeply religious meanings for many people and so associating selfless service with a marketing/sales tool was offensive. 

They had angry people and hurt people, and Nathan said he was really inclined most to listen to the hurt people. He also publicly shared that they spent over $500k on the rebrand, and a lot of that was in acquiring the domain, which they still own. Now, that domain redirects to a page about why they are staying ConvertKit.

 

Here’s part of what they said:

“We listened. We learned. We have a new appreciation for the word seva and we won’t be changing our name after all. We’re sorry for our mistake. Seva is not just a word that means “selfless service.” It’s not just a word that means “serving without the expectation of anything in return.” It is a holy and sacred practice that involves giving generously to others out of love, tied so deeply to spirituality that it cannot be separated from spirituality itself.”

Rebranding in Public

This shows us for a while that there's been a desire for a name change. Now that they’ve announced the name is going to be Kit, they’re doing what they're describing as rebranding in public. So it's funny, when he announces the name change in the video, he says, “I'm going to show you the new logo... Just kidding, we don't have a new logo yet”. They're actually going to rebrand with you and you can follow along and subscribe (which I'd highly recommend doing if you guys want to follow this process). So much work will have to be done to rebrand a company the size of ConvertKit. 

Read more: Behind the Scenes of Building a Multi-Six-Figure Signature Online Course

business lessons before I started setting goals for 2024

 

4 Reasons ConvertKit’s Rebrand to Kit Might Be a Mistake

So my initial thought is that I don't love it. Like I already said, I will support them though as ConvertKit or Kit, it doesn't matter. I think they're a great company, but I don't love the name and I do think ConvertKit is better.

But I also think, like I've said, Nathan Barry is a genius founder and CEO, and if you watch the announcement video, you can see his passion for this and his desire for the name change, and I think there's power in that. 

1. ConvertKit has 11 years of brand building in its name

ConvertKit has 11 years of brand building in its name and that's shortened by this name change. Kit is so much less recognizable. Whether or not you're a ConvertKit customer or user, there’s so much name recognition there that's all lost by renaming it to Kit (which is an extremely generic word). 

2. Kit doesn’t tell us anything about what the company does. 

Like I said earlier, ConvertKit acquired the domain for both kit.com and kit.co, and they actually just straight up acquired the entire company that was kit.co. I can’t find how much they spent on the domain, but I would guess it’s in the thousands or millions or even multi-millions. When you look at domains that are three letters in our dictionary, there are so few of them even available, and they can be super, super expensive.

At one point, Kit.com was actually a health testing company and that company was acquired by another company for 55 million at some point years ago. That's all public information that I found in researching this. And then again, since then, the kit.co people have been using that domain for a while (they’ve been using both kit.com and kit.co). From what I understand, kit.co lost the .com domain in 2019 because they were just leasing the domain kit.com, and in 2019 the owners of the kit.com domain were no longer interested in selling to us and were going to repurpose the domain for a different property.

At one point, Kit.com also belonged to a company called Kit Electronics. Which just really shows that “Kit” could mean literally anything and a lot of people are using it in the name.

I would also imagine it was probably a really expensive transaction for ConvertKit, which they can of course afford because they are a very successful company, but it would have been really expensive because domains are so expensive. But it does mean business. They are definitely showing everyone how serious they are by acquiring the domain.  

Read more: 8 Mistakes To Avoid When Naming Your Business, Course, Or Program

3. The new product changes don’t require a new name

It’s clear they feel like ConvertKit doesn't tell enough of what they do, because they're doing more than just Convert, they're helping you create and so much more. In my personal opinion though, ConvertKit is still a good word to describe it. The product changes that were announced at Craft + Commerce don’t require a new name necessarily. I think it could all work within the ConvertKit brand. I think ConvertKit still perfectly tells us what they do. Kit does not tell it any better. 

I even had a thought that since it seems like they're hung up on not liking the word “Convert”, that maybe even something like CreatorKit would be better, or just something that just is more specific than kit.

But again, they’ve also said very clearly that they were wanting it to be a really short domain. That's been a desire from when they did Seva as the change and a desire now as well.

If you listen to his presentation, there's a big emphasis on the word Kit, like “being your kit for all these different things as you grow your business.” In my mind, I feel like they could have kept it as ConvertKit and still focused the marketing language around the word kit instead.

Elizabeth McCravy shares easy hacks for more satisfying work days

4. People often resist the new name for a while. 

I think it's very possible that long-term and at least for a few years, people are going to still want to call it ConvertKit. People have that brand recognition and I know even in my business internally we use CK and everyone knows what it means, which just goes to show you how ingrained the name is already.

As another example, let’s talk about the rebrand from Twitter to X. This change happened in July 2023, and everyone still wants to call it X. Twitter had incredible brand recognition years and years in the making and he was erasing all that with this new name. 

ConvertKit Rebrands to Kit

Again, I want to stress that I think ConvertKit will do well no matter what. They're such an awesome company with such an awesome CEO and founder and great team and great software. I like the name ConvertKit better than just Kit because it has that brand recognition, it's longer, and it tells us a bit more about what it's doing. I think the word convert really translates well to all things marketing, which is also what ConvertKit is doing. Although it seems like they might be thinking it's too technical, I think it's a word we all are used to using as business owners to talk about different things that we do in our business.

ConvertKit is going to share the steps, share the behind the scenes, and they'll officially be switching the name to Kit in September. That's something I've always just loved about ConvertKit as a company is how open they are. They love to share things as they happen. Nathan regularly blogs his experience of running this company and they're really open with their own numbers and stats and things.

And as far as I can tell too, but it does seem like the response to this name change has been really positive. So it’ll be really interesting to see what they do with it and where it goes.

Links Mentioned:

Read more about ConvertKit’s rebrand here

Shop our Showit Website Templates (use code BBPODCAST for 10% off!)

Join me inside Booked Out Designer

Sign up for the Podcast Success Blueprint!

Want the insider scoop? Join my Free Facebook community!

Connect with Elizabeth on Instagram

July 9, 2024

Explore more categories:  Branding, Business, Entrepreneurship, Podcast

share this post:

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links used on this blog are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission when you purchase after clicking my link or using my coupon code. This does not cost you anything extra, in fact, it usually saves you money! I only recommend brands that I have used myself and believe in. 

Leave a Reply!

brand strategy q's

Get the questions you need to be asking to create a strategic brand!

see my top biz resources

see my top biz resources

podcast

freebies

template highlight

gabby podcast kit

Oh, you wanna know more?

design

business

marketing

template showcase

personal

listen to the podcast!

I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

Hey there!
of the year

@ELIZABETHMCCRAVY

Let's be friends, yo.