Principle | Branding & Creative Agency | Dublin, Ireland

Hailo, cheerio. Sad to see it go.

I would believe that when you have created a brand name, one that’s distinctive and ownable, one that has successfully identified itself with a sector just as Hailo has, the next step to throw that away and go back to a generic name such as MyTaxi must have been a difficult one, but that’s mergers I guess.

Of all the app-based conveniences that have come our way in these recent years, Hailo has been a favourite of mine, ticking all the boxes – convenient and safe. I suppose nothing has really changed in terms of its functionality, though. However, if Principle had have been responsible for naming and creating the Hailo brand I think I’d be crying into my coffee cup right now.

Seemingly, the background to the naming decision is that Hailo had Anglo appeal only and the generally larger MyTaxi markets of central Europe and Scandinavia would have little appreciation for the Hailo name. Crossing borders didn’t stop Uber though, or Google or IKEA for that matter. Anyway, the point is that sometimes a name simply sounds good or just rolls off the tongue, you don’t know why but it just feels right for the brand. Hailo had both that and some meaning to boot, which was nice. Its wordplay gave it potential too as was evident in the simplicity of its final message “Hailo, Cheerio” (the potential Anglo only appeal is noted again).

In a naming process that targets the lowest common denominator, I would think that MyTaxi probably does the job being asked of it but I feel that, from a branding point at least, they lost a little something here. Maybe some astute board member has already snuck out the door with the Hailo name. Either way, “I’m going to call a MyTaxi” just doesn’t quite roll as easily for me as “I’m going’ to call a Hailo”. Maybe it does in German.