Naming a company is the first and most important step when you create one. You have to like it (because you will see it 24/7), it must be significant and consistent with your company’s project and reason to be, and it has to be easy to read and to pronounce for your target.
So, what was going through Ekkiden CEO’s head when he thought about this name?
Let’s dive into Geoffrey’s mind to understand the naming of the company.
Let’s be mysterious
The name was created at the beginning of 2019, as it was necessary to give a name to this crazy but necessary project. For Geoffrey, there was no revelation or obviousness. Our CEO spent a lot of time thinking about the name of his future company.
In the IT world, many names sound alike, start with an a, or are convoluted... Geoffrey wanted a simple term.
An unusual term, that makes a strong impression, and which does not evoke anything specific, especially for the world of tech and innovation.
He wanted something that would make people wonder what the name meant. Why? To leave a mark, to get people talking, to question and to intrigue! Indeed, what better way to start a conversation and talk about the Ekkiden project than using a hardly-known name?
Another important aspect in finding our name: the international aspect.
'From the start, I wanted the company to be international and to have that in the name so that people would know when they heard it.'
Moreover, the chosen name should be easy to pronounce in any language. Indeed, as the company was intended from the start to spread in different countries, it was necessary to choose a name that all communities could easily say.
When he created Ekkiden, Geoffrey also looked for a name to convey several values, to be evocative and meaningful, and to show that the name had been thought through. Sport was the common thread in Geoffrey's reflection.
Let’s be sporty
Indeed, our CEO followed the lead of sport because it reflected the collective, determined, and ambitious spirit that Ekkiden wanted to promote.
Geoffrey started to look for climbing, the ice axe, in all languages. Then he came across 'ekiden'. The name didn't give him any impression, but the sport behind it spoke to him greatly.
Ekiden is an originated Japanese marathon relay race that is run in teams.
'This sport is well-known for pushing the limits and promoting human values.It is a demanding sport in terms of physical conditions, and very human in terms of teamwork and mutual support, and it is this aspect of the ekiden that seduced me.'
Let’s be disruptive
The ekiden is a sport that allows you to go far and fast, that requires a lot of endurance and speed.
'I was immediately hooked on this idea, which reflects the ambition I want to instill through Ekkiden.'
But the fundamental notion is that of a relay between people and between teams. 'What is important for me is that everyone can evolve and pass the torch to someone in his team to take over his role'. And that is what motivated us to create a new team organization for our consultants.
Indeed, his greatest ambition is to break the organisational model of traditional consulting firms, in which managers oversee each stage (recruitment, follow-up, coaching), and the distribution of skills and tasks. Ekkiden aims at being different, and our company culture follows that goal.
Relay running as part of a team allows us to go faster and further. Relaying is essential for a company like ours, undergoing a surge of development. Our evolution depends substantially on the quality of our relays. There is no pushing one's limits, and no success, without values or respect. This is our deep DNA.
But why two K? Geoffrey added a K so that the company name would not be confused with the Japanese sport, and to reinforce this visual distinguishing feature.
Our identity was thus formed around this idea, and since then, sport is an activity that we practice during the meetings organised by the company, because it develops team spirit and physical fitness. Moreover, the values conveyed by sport are accessible to all, and can easily be transposed to Ekkiden.
Today, our name means a lot to us and brings together the general mindset that we preach at Ekkiden. It is an obvious unifying element that reminds us of our mission and purpose every day. It is also a great link with our clients, candidates, and partners to start a discussion and introduce our project.
Are you interested in our code-breaking energy?
You can check out our values, and even join us to begin a journey together and change the game!