Urban Airship Rebrands as Airship, Offers Broad Suite of Mobile Customer Engagement Solutions

The mobile marketing industry has undergone fundamental changes since Urban Airship was founded in 2009. With location tracking having grown far more precise, and brands relying more heavily on marketing automation, Urban Airship has expanded beyond its original premise as a push notification provider and delved more deeply into AI-powered targeting and personalization solutions.

The company took its biggest step into the future just this morning. In a bid to expand its solutions well beyond push notifications, marketing firm Urban Airship is dropping the qualifier Urban from its name and launching a new identity as Airship, a customer engagement company that works with brands to target and coordinate customer interactions across apps, websites, SMS, email, mobile wallets, and other emerging channels.

Despite being in business for a decade and having developed a strong brand identity tied to the name Urban Airship, the company is capitalizing on just the right time to forge a new name for itself, said Senior Vice President of Marketing Mike Stone.

“Urban Airship was the first to enable app push notifications as a channel—which drove a lot of growth and recognition. But in this mobile-first age of digital transformation, our customers looked to us for a much broader vision,” Stone says. “We’re streamlining our brand to Airship to reflect our leading role in customer-centric digital transformation and to signal how much more we can do than we did a decade ago, when we were founded.”

With brands increasingly being defined by digital and mobile experiences—think ordering coffee or lunch through a mobile app, submitting an iPhone photo for an insurance claim, or receiving a gate change notification from a digital boarding pass—Stone says there’s more pressure for technology firms to provide clients with precise pieces of information that they can use to help their customers, wherever they might be. Automation plays a big role in that, as well, primarily in the way brands coordinate their interactions with customers across digital channels.

Airship’s engagement solutions cross digital channels with targeting, intelligent orchestration, and predictive AI, and Stone says the company’s data and analytics tools help brands maximize performance and discover new growth activities. Just last year, the company invented a new way to automate in-app messages that arrived instantly, in session, and in context.

“Automation is incredibly important, but it is much more than a solution capability. We’ve long been the standard when seconds matter for breaking news because we have the flexibility to integrate with other systems and into the workflow of users—for example, publishing tools for media organizations.”

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Airship’s recent acquisition of Accengage, a Europe-based mobile CRM and push notification provider. Together, the firms will be better positioned to deliver optimal customer experiences to brand marketers. Airship also attracted attention recently when it powered some of Vodafone’s first RCS campaigns through its Open Channels API, notching 40% click-through rates.

Despite those recent successes and acquisitions, and the changes Airship is undergoing as it looks for a better way to convey its streamlined, simple, and fast-to-mobile marketing platform, Stone acknowledges that rebranding can be difficult in the technology space. People who’ve known the company as Urban Airship for the past decade might bristle at the change.

“It’s not as big a challenge as changing to a completely new name, but it’s certainly significant,” he says. “Over the next several months we will be focused on promoting brand visibility at events, in press, in advertising, and in direct outreach to customers. We’re doing a lot with our new website around backlinks, SEO, and SEM to ensure a seamless and exciting experience for customers and prospects alike.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.Rainbow over Montclair

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