Squadhelp to Atom: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Domain rebranding isn’t easy but it happens to address a number of issues affecting an existing brand. The announcement that Squadhelp is rebranding to Atom, operating from the domain Atom.com, is both exciting and baffling.

To push forward with a fresh domain and brand, one or more of the following reasons must be present:

  • Market Expansion: When a company expands its offerings or targets new demographics, its original brand may no longer remain as a fit. Rebranding with a new domain aligns the brand with its current identity and audience.
  • Identity Refinement: Companies evolve and sometimes their positioning or values change. A new domain and brand identity can signal these shifts effectively to stakeholders, reflecting the company’s new mission and values.
  • Legal Challenges: Legal issues such as trademark disputes or domain conflicts can prompt rebranding. Choosing a new domain and brand name can circumvent these challenges and ensure a smooth path forward for the business.

Squadhelp is now Atom at Atom.com

As far as we can tell, Squadhelp hasn’t grown outside of the realm of offering domain names to clients, despite its extensive improvement of the services provided to domain sellers. For example, it didn’t branch out to offer creative services or web hosting, or anything really that good old GoDaddy has tapped into.

Also, Squadhelp is a registered trademark and has been so since 2017 so there are no legal challenges to affect the Squadhelp brand.

In other words, it has to be an issue of identity refinement, which is more or less a decision of the owner to re-baptize the brand and company and begin afresh with a new name. This choice has both immediate and long term consequences, however.

The good news: the new domain, Atom.com, is formed from a dictionary word, atom. It is a short word, reminiscent of Apple and its brand and carries with it what was once considered to be the unsplittable element of nature, the atom. The domain itself is spectacular, aged, and has gone to Squadhelp via Andy Booth’s inventory.

Note: Andy Booth mentioned to us at the time that he acquired the domain Atom.com from its former owners, Viacom, for seven figures.

The bad news: The keyword does not associate immediately with the services Squadhelps provides. For a new company, relative to other “Atom” companies out there, there is going to be a competition on the SEO and ranking for this brand. While Apple succeeds in that, they have been on the internet for 30 years and another 20 prior to that. Also, trademarking “Atom” will prove to be a very hard task, unless graphic elements are included. They might try to trademark Atom.com as well, which defeats the purpose of picking a brand that is identifiable and trademark-able without a domain reference.

The ugly news: Squadhelp is a hell of a rankable brand, thanks to its unique, made-up name consisting of two words, squad and help. It’s the quintessential method of ranking in Google and can drive traffic with minimal or zero campaigns. Now, Squadhelp will not only have to convince Google to restructure its entire content and inventory from Squadhelp.com to Atom.com but it also has to pay Google Ads in order to rank for the services, once again.

In a nutshell: Atom.com is a great domain but maybe it was unnecessary for Squadhelp to rebrand. It already holds a strong spot as a brand and domain platform with unique characteristics. Picking “Atom” as its new moniker might improve its B2B image but definitely not the effectiveness of its online presence in Google and other search engines. If Squadhelp rebranded in order to appear bigger than what it is, the road to achieving that is long and winding.

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