Manufacturer Axon Automotive is a specialist in carbon fibre moulding, principally producing parts for the car industry and most recently designing an eco-car.
When the firm spun out of Cranfield Business School in 2006, their original business name, Coretex structures, was perfect for the brand. The name referred both to an area of the brain – the cortex – (which reflected the innovation and intellectual property that lay at the heart of the company) and also a textile wrapped around a core, the way carbon fibre is wrapped round a foam core during moulding.
The Wellingborough-based manufacturer’s clever branding was scuppered however when a large American corporation stole the name. “It taught us an incredibly important lesson,” says Cousins. “When you have a technology start-up, it’s important to register all your intellectual property, not just the patents.”
But all was not lost. Cousins landed on a new name for the start-up, that reflected similar values. And this time he registered it.
“We came up with the name Axon,” he says. “It has a similar brain connotation – to do with nerve endings. We’re also very proud of being a British firm, and Axon is an amalgamation of Anglo-Saxon.”
Cousins has definitely done something right. Soon after the re-launch, Axon Automotive won a £1.4m contract to design their new eco-car and the start-up is heading for a £700,000 turnover in its first year.
A rose by any other name…