Most people think of us as a website design company but many of our clients want to use us for other marketing as well.  I was posed a question this morning.  A colleague is renaming his company and he wanted some input.  He presented me with 4 or 5 different ideas.  The first 3 were all pretty similar.  They had to do with his concept to position his company as one that can replace multiple vendors.  Pretty cool idea.  A lot of people make a buying decision based on convenience.  And convenience is key for the Boomer generations.  If he can position his company as the easiest to work with, that could be a winner.  However, while he can replace a couple vendors, he can’t become a company’s only vendor.  Without telling you what he does, let’s say that hypothetically he sells office supplies.  He could replace the toner guy, the paper guy, even the coffee and bottled-water guy.  That’s great but he can’t replace the tech support guy or the janitor.  So positioning himself as the sole vendor for a business won’t really work.  In fact, positioning himself that way could set things up to disappoint people right out of the gate.  So the names that related to the sole-vendor position we nixed.

I told him that that I like some of the other names, but I didn’t know that they told me enough about what he does.  The other names were catchy, but generic enough that someone wouldn’t know immediately what he does.

Is there some way that he can sharpen the focus just a little more so that it clearly identifies what he offers?   Take Red Rocket Web Specialists for example.  From the name, you can easily tell what we do.  We tried to make sure that there was no confusion about what we do.  That way, we can spend all of our marketing efforts describing why we’re better, rather than spending money describing what we offer.  It’s a huge hurdle that can cause you to spend the next 10 years clarifying what you do, or you can just hit the ground running and tell people why they should work with you.  The confusion about what you do isn’t even a question if you have a clearly identifiable name.

So after you have defined what type of name will position you most effectively in front of your competition, then make sure that your name clearly defines who you are and what you do.  Lastly, make it memorable.  To do this, avoid generic words like “solutions.”  Use words that paint a picture in your customers’ minds.  If you can burn a picture into their minds, it’s a lot easier for them to remember.  Think Apple Computer.  It’s great because it tells you what they do and it brings a picture to mind.  Most people think of an apple.  These days, they’ve done such a good job of branding, I bet most people think of Apple products before they think of the fruit when they hear the word “apple.”  They trumped the fruit that they were named after.

When naming Red Rocket Web Specialists, we thought a lot about how to make the name memorable while telling people what we do.  Once again, Red Rocket Web Specialist has been a very good name for us because people picture the tall, red rocket in their minds when they think of our company.  It’s easy to remember pictures since we all think in pictures.  I’ve met people that I haven’t seen in 10 years and they say, “You’re with Red Rocket.  Right?”  They remember the picture.  They don’t remember my name because it doesn’t bring an image to mind.

In summary, when you choose a new name for your company, make sure that it’s based on something that will provide meaningful benefit to your customers.  If they’re not interested in the implied benefit, it’s not a good position.  Also, look for a name that describes what you do.  Sure, it seems a little boring, but it’s cheaper than spending a million bucks to clarify what you do.  Lastly, make sure that your name is memorable.  Hope that helps.

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