Piwik is now Matomo - Complete Rebrand after 10 Years... Why? What's at play here?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Future State, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Future State

    Future State

    Jul 22, 2014

    I just got an email which led me to this blog post by Piwik... er... I mean Matomo:

    This is what they have to say about why they decided to rebrand after 10 years in business:

    “After an epic 10 year journey creating and perfecting the best open digital analytics solution, we felt it was a good time to refresh our brand to reflect how far we have come and to reaffirm our vision:
    To create, as a community, the leading international open source digital analytics platform, that gives every user full control of their data.”​

    So my question is... what's the real reason?

    I've never been involved in a decision this big. Is it some kind of "Highest Person in Charge's Decision", or is there some marketing angle at play here? It's working good enough that I just made this thread, but why ditch the very name that everyone knows you as after a decade, and change color palettes, when everything else stays the same?

    Is it because nobody knew how to pronounce Piwik even after all this time? :D

    WHY? That's what I want to know.


    I'm a moron. I just read why in that post above, that I didn't finish reading before making this thread.

    Why not keep the name Piwik?
    For a few reasons, one of which is to ensure that Matomo does not/will not share its name with any other businesses unlike Piwik. We also want to protect the Matomo brand and for it to remain the open source community project name forever.
    They apparently were far more than just one or two other businesses using the word Piwik, whatever the heck that means.

    I see they're tackling the pronunciation problem they faced with Piwik immediately:


    So they actually got the trademark this time. Good for them.

    So I guess we need to pivot the point of this thread. How can they overcome any problems that might arise from this rebranding? What might those problems be?

    For most internet people, which is the entirety of their userbase, domain and inner page 301's should bring most everyone up to speed. But will they have to blow a ton of money to fix the name recognition problem that's coming?

    Also... how do they make money? Are they selling our data? Because they're entire "shtick" is privacy and security.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    Ryuzaki likes this.
  2. turbin3


    Oct 9, 2014
    Piwik / Matomo monetizes in at least 2 ways, from what I can see. They have a cloud hosted subscription model. They also offer paid support on a subscription basis, starting at $19K annually. So, targeted at mid-sized businesses of course. This is a pretty typical model for a lot of SAAS companies like this.

    The great part is, it's also open source. So just fire up another VPS, and your data is fully yours. With their cloud-hosted version, they of course say it's 100% yours. For anyone paranoid, it should be no big deal to spend a few hours one weekend configuring yet another VPS for security, TLS, etc. Then install your own Matomo instance and have your very own analytics platform you are in full control of.

    Going the self-hosted route is, of course, AWESOME. Most people probably don't care, but it sure is nice having the peace of mind in having your complete data within your full control. That said, self-hosting does come with it's own issues. You'll want to be conscious of things like caching, maintaining data integrity, etc.

    As far as dealing with re-branding issues, there are a few fundamental things I always recommend at a minimum for most businesses:

    Retain or re-purpose what you have
    I've been involved with a few re-branding efforts over the years. At least one of which was a 9 figure company. It's not uncommon for there to be a mentality of "taking a wrecking ball" to things so they can start fresh.

    That's all well and good, but it's still wise to find a way to retain and pass along the brand assets that have been acquired over the years. That way the new brand starts out strong. I'm speaking about "assets" purely from a marketing standpoint. Here's a few examples:

    • Should they outreach for link updates?
    • How about redirects?
    • Should they also get anchors changed?
    • How many links should change versus redirect?
    • Can the existing content transfer?
    • Has the company or products changed too much?
    • Can some posts be combined to be more relevant for the new brand, so existing value is retained?
    • Figure out content / structure.
    • Get redirects in order.
    • Determine whether those keywords still make sense for the new brand, or if they need to change. For example, if a re-brand also effects a significant change in focus or market for the company, many of the old assets may no longer be relevant. Some keywords may need to be sacrificed.
    External Profiles
    • When you rebrand, do you delete your old social profiles?
    • Do you change them?
    • Do you build new separate ones?

    All questions to ask and answer! There's a lot more to it than that, but those are some of the core areas from a technical standpoint.

    Build what you don't
    I've seen several companies relaunch before, that don't really plan a content marketing strategy around it. With any substantial change in business, there are going to be things to talk about. You want to inform your audience about new products and services, or major changes to old ones. You want to reassure them that the company is alive and strong.

    You also, at minimum, need some actual optimized content that offers the opportunity of achieving rankings and attracting traffic. The launch isn't complete until you've built your minimum viable product (MVP) in marketing assets. I've also seen companies relaunch, deciding things were too different, and then deciding to just kill off most/all of the old content without any replacement. That's terrible, but it is avoidable.
  3. azswe


    Jun 19, 2015
    Yeah this is an actually interesting topic in a kinda thought experiment way...

    Considering the angles you brought up in the op, some random thoughts:

    Other companies being closely named: for most people, this could be a non-issue, bit say they're planning for an exit in 1-3 years? Any corporation considering acquisition is likely way way more wary of this kinda things.

    "Why are they abandoning the name everone knows?" Related - or not - to the possibility suggested above they may just be changing strategy. They are probably known in certain segments and by existing customers by the old brand. Maybe they've come to the conclusion of just-fuck-our-neckbeard-nerd-cult-following-of-loyal-customers-there's-no-money-here?

    My intuition is no one in the real money or corporation world knows them, so the old brand is worth de nada, and most likely is more likely poisonous if that's the clients they wanna target?

    Or you know, they hired a new someone in the upper management somewhere and that someone had no fuckimg clue how to earn his/her stripes, so randomly came up with this legit looking strategy & vision for the company... just to be simultaneously surprised & terrified by the fact the board ran with his/her hungover improv pitch. Who knows. Plenty places out there where appearence is most important thus driving people. And that'd be a good reason to build, I think... like for one's long-term happiness?
  4. Steve


    Dec 29, 2016
    The piwik brand never seemed strong to me.
    Pretty much everywhere i saw it mentioned, it was compared unfavourably to the competition, with a kind of 'but they are still pretty good considering its free' slant.
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