The name Couchers

I want Couchcrash! Can already see a wonderful logo for that! :partying_face:

just joking… how about closing this topic as it seems resolved? we could move on to a new one, like Couchers AU fan fiction so we don’t limit anyone’s imagination!?


Well you never know when someone will come along with a great alternative name and start a revolution, or on the contrary bring up some dealbreaker that none of us had considered before… I still want to leave it open for people to discuss how others have reacted to the name too. If possible :slight_smile:

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Oh I like OpenDoor a lot

I first discovered Couchers (dot) org through friends who I met on CS and I find the idea brilliant!

What I’ve realised in the last year is that 99% of the people I met via CS (hosting/couchsurfing/events) are all looking for new similar platforms to sign up to, and we all miss couchsurfing very much.

By seeing the name Couchers (dot) org, I instantly felt like this was going to be a very similar concept to CS and this is what has attracted me to sign up and join the conversation.

I’d say that even using a name such as Couchsurfers (dot) org could be a great start for this platform. So what if we’re copying CS? They decided to shoot themselves in the foot by introducing a mandatory paid membership last year and I don’t know of a single person who’s told me “yeah, I’m still using CS” since then.

The home page clearly says that Couchers is a better and forever free spin-off of CS, so why not go the extra mile and take the name Couchsurfers? It’s not an exact copy, but you’ll definitely be at the top of the search results, and you’ll be getting soooo many previous CS members who are desperately trying to find again that community they loved so much.

Just my opinion, but I thought I’d share it because it’s come up in so many conversations with my CS friends. I’m now happy to be able to direct them to Couchers (dot) org, but I’m not a big fan of the word (perhaps for the French translation issue too)


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They also trademarked both “couchsurfing” and “couchsurfer” ( Though I’d say that’s quite a disputable trademark. It’s essentially a common word from the dictionary, just written without hyphen or space. They can’t claim they invented it, so they would at least need to prove they have popularized it. We briefly talked about this on the Volunteers chat as well and here’s a rather devastating graph:

Difficult not to say they rather killed the popularity of the search term since they incorporated :face_with_monocle:

In any case, we use both “couch surfing” and “couch surfer” in our communication. These are common English words and there’s no reason to cede them to any company!


I came to the forum to start a topic like this, and luckily the software directed me to this thread.
I think this is actually a SUPER important topic, and would love to be part of more conversations around it. Thanks for asking for suggestions - do you have some way to make an impact on the brand name? ie, are you part of the leadership?

As for ideas, I don’t have the perfect one, but a video conference where people brainstorm would be super fun. I would suggest something that evokes TRAVEL, hosting, sharing cultures, making connections… best one I have right now:

Travel Connections -

Just gotta continue trying to talk about this by adding more comments.

  1. I think the whole ‘couch’ imagery is bad and was bad. traveling and then sleeping on someone’s couch is already a negative. yes, it brings up ‘cheap’/free, but also low effort, low class experience. where’s the couch? in the main room = no privacy.

  2. Anything ‘couch’ in this realm of hospitality club will immediately be associated with CS. That seems to me to be a bad thing. I saw above where someone said ‘we’re taking back the term from [that company]’ … but that subtlety of mission does not translate to new people. Keeping close to the same name is forever tying this org to that company.

  3. surfing is also, in my opinion, a bad word to use in a hospitality context. you’re just going to ‘surf in’ and stay at my place, then catch the next wave and be gone? no thanks. what I want is to make a friend of an interesting traveler. I don’t just want to have people sleeping at my house.

  4. I’d recommend using words around travel, culture, sharing, friends, connections…
    my best idea today is not saying its great, but goes the right direction.

would love to hear more ideas. I would suggest an open call to ALL members to suggest names, and then non-binding elections for good names. then experienced marketing team review the results and decide.

Hey @tyssniffen and welcome to the forum! nice to meet you last night at the sociallll~

First off let me just say I agree with you on several points! But we are the minority :innocent:

The name has always been up for discussion but since that discussion was settled by a vote more than a year ago I think most people have already said their piece.

Ultimately no single person has any control over the name and I think for the purpose of marketing and building up our reputation it’s not going to change now. Still, as the community grows and evolves you never know what could happen. Thank you for your comments and ideas!

I realize I’m probably late to this party, but when was the vote? Searching this thread, I don’t see any announcement about it. how many participated? and (again, I know I’m new here, so hear the question, not the accusation) a year ago, what were the numbers of the org? wasn’t that pretty early in the process?

Of course, the people who are running things should be the ones who ultimately get to decide, but it still seems early in the experiment, with ‘beta’ still in the logo/name. I hope it’s not simply inertia.

I’d also be interested to hear the “pro” argument - the ‘why’ on keeping so close to what seems to be a negative brand, with an even less clear message. Seems odd that people would be ready to forever talk about what’s wrong with CS when explaining what Couchers is. (I have read the thing on the site)

Anyway, I hope people are still thinking big picture, and thanks for the conversation!

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The thing is that Couchsurfing got the verb. I’m not wildly keen on Couchers myself and would welcome a revote now there’s more members. But… I’ve not seen any alternative names that would suit it well. It’s not too late to change it though.

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did you scroll up and see the different suggestions? I like a number of them, and think that there are plenty that are worth ‘workshopping’ to figure out a new brand. - again to state my case: I think it should bring up travelers, traveling, hosting, making friends, sharing culture, sharing homes. my suggestion is travelconnections

of course.

I’m happy to workshop it if anyone else is. Right now, although I don’t like “Couchers”, I do prefer it to the two-word / compound-word options. Why - because it’s short and easy to spell.

My favourite 2 word ones from the older conversation are @Emily’s - Make Room and Stay With. Open door is also good.

Strategically, I would look for something that can work as a verb.

Totally agree.

I quite love the name and don’t think it evokes a negative brand or gives an unclear message. I also believe we’re thinking big with it. For me the big picture is that we are not an alternative to couchsurfing. We are a couchsurfing community. Couchers: Like Couchsurfing ™, but better. Because we build it together.


You are correct. Couch imagery indeed brings up cheap/low class experience. But I think that it brings up exactly what it’s supposed to bring up. Not all people on hospex platforms are successful professionals or entrepreneurs who have a place with a dedicated guest room. We have students here, nomads, people trying to figure things out, people with lower/average income, people who haven’t properly settled down. It is more likely to end up on the couch in someone’s living room than to have a room for ourselves. I already wrote it in a different thread- if people need privacy or have high/er demands, they should stay in the hotel/airbnb instead. Exceptions can be found but the reality is that hospitality exchange is usually NOT a high class experience.

I didn’t like name Couchers at the beginning (was holding a grudge against CS), got used to it. I can see it beneficial in helping CS members with the transition. Had to scroll up to see Emily’s suggestions gjw mentioned. “Open Door” and “Stay With” sound brilliant but I get it why Couchers was chosen in the end- we are a CouchSurfing community after all.


We had votes on branding a year ago before we went public with the beta. We had a community wide vote on the logo and a volunteer vote on the name. I believe we had about 100 volunteers on the team at the time. 25 participated in the vote and 22 voted for “Couchers”.

I don’t think that this decision was too early in the process. We needed a lasting branding to go public, just as we needed to settle other decisions early on, like where and how to register legally. These are decisions that we build upon as we move the project forward.


The other side of this story is that perhaps names matter less than people think. It could be called “flibbitygib” and as long as people know what it is and what it does, then all good.

I’ll probably never really like “Couchers”, but unless there’s some serious intention to change it, it’s probably a bit of a wasted discussion. Can always dream though…


Well, that’s an interesting take. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but is that really a fundamental part of the org’s belief? Where’d that come from?

One underlying theme in those many ‘I-did-CS-and-I-hated-it’ articles is how the authors felt it was such a grubby/sketchy/flophouse sort of experience that they never wanted to try again. Now, I’ve spent time sleeping in some odd places in my time, from train car floors to bathtubs to basement couches. I’m not a snob, nor do I think anyone is looking for a ‘high class’ experience. (more on that below) But is that really ‘part of the vibe’ you’re going for? “we’re cheap nomads, we have couches, maybe”? If that is what the community is, so be it; I’m just looking for clarification.

The reason I’m so passionate about hospitality orgs (and am in a number of them) is that I actually believe staying with local new friends is THE BEST way to travel, and have had amazing experiences doing that. Further, hosting people has been a very rewarding experience as well. Hospitality exchange is in no way “a low class” experience. I would argue that many, many people and leaders in CS/couchers have claimed, ‘if you’re just looking for a cheap place to stay, go somewhere else’.

I just think that pushing the couch symbolism both ties the org to CS, and freeloaders. Seems to me that with some thinking about the brand name, the idea of openness, sharing culture and hospitality can be maintained while starting a new org with a new, better outlook.


I agree. but a goofy non-name would come WITHOUT the negatives of association with CS and lack of privacy/comfort.

Thanks for the history, and glad you are still here participating in the conversation.

I do want to point out that it seems one can find more than 25 people on this thread alone who don’t like the name… but more importantly, I hope the idea of thinking long term/big picture is part of the leader’s mindset. If the beta went public a year ago, that means we’re entering year 2 or 3? Servas is over 70, WOOOF over 50, even Hospitality Club is over 20 years old. CS ‘lasted’ what, 10? I’d like to think that this org is still in its very beginning stages, and can still make changes and define itself in new ways. That’s my hope anyway.