Product Launch

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E176: HBO’s Rebranding Blunder: A Lesson In Naming

Sean discusses HBO’s rebranding blunder and how it made finding and accessing the app much more difficult for him. He emphasizes the importance of thematic naming and being intentional with your branding.

Key Points

  • HBO changed the name of their app from HBO to HBO Max to Max, which caused confusion.
  • Thematic naming makes it easier to market and understand a product.
  • Changing names should be done carefully to avoid confusion for customers.
  • Rebranding can create a real mess if not done correctly.
  • Sean is a fan of thematic naming in products.
  • Naming is important in marketing and positioning a product.
  • Making it harder for people to find a product is bad for business.


  • “You could create a real mess and HBO seems to have done that.” (05:03 – 05:06)
  • “If it’s gonna be harder for people to find it, I see that as a bad thing.” (05:30 – 05:34)
  • “Be careful with your naming because if you make a potential boneheaded move like that, you can cause a lot more harm than you may have been expecting to.” (05:40 – 05:47)

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