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Rebranding As GroundTruth, xAd Says Location Is Bigger Than Advertising

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For a few years now, we have been talking about the evolution of location into a broad insights tool that can be used for a growing range of purposes. Tracking that shift, today xAd rebranded as GroundTruth, reflecting a broader vision and an expansion of the company’s services beyond advertising.

GroundTruth (formerly xAd) founder and CEO Dipanshu “D” Sharma explains in an email letter that the rebrand was necessary as the company shifts beyond media and advertising:

We’re moving beyond a company that only serves the media industry to one that will use its data to empower many more industries. We can help businesses grow more strategically and make smarter forecasting decisions. We can inform how cities grow by delivering unprecedented behavioral insights to real estate professionals and city planners. We can move markets, spark innovation, and even save lives, which we’ve seen with our “Location For Good” efforts.

The ambition is to help any relevant industry, municipality and even humanitarian organizations understand how people interact and engage with places in the physical world. The rebrand fits well with the new mission, as outlined, and the name itself has a lot of appealing qualities.

“Ground” suggests a place or location on earth and also brings to my mind being grounded or down to earth. “Truth” speaks for itself but helps to combat perceptions or concerns about data accuracy that have confronted the location space for some time now. (The company says in its announcement that a third party audit found its store visits data to be 90% accurate.) Combine the two words and, to me, GroundTruth represents location, humility, reality and a jumping off point.

Sometimes rebranding can seem unnecessary, arbitrary or simply a refresh without a clear justification. However, xAd’s rebrand to GroundTruth is meaningful. The rebrand represents something bigger than a new name and logo; it’s a representation of the company’s new direction and vision.

The rebrand is also interesting strategically. Just as location is becoming the “center of gravity” for digital marketing, the company’s rebrand asks and implies broader uses for location. Will it become a jumping off point for industries of all kinds? Can location insights change how we develop the real world?

Whatever you believe, this rebrand is the beginning of a new conversation around the future of location.

The Future of Location is the theme of this year’s Place Conference in New York on September 18. Join us and come see the future for yourself. Click here for info.

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