We get asked a lot about names. In most cases, it’s in regards to the titles of the short-run newspapers our customers are about to print–whether to replace an existing newsletter or they are beginning a new publication to distribute to their communities–but invariably it almost always begins and ends with the company name itself — and is that name a good name to start with? Or, perhaps even more importantly, is the company too focused on their name itself, or are they focused on what they should be focused on: selling their product?
Let’s say the name of your business is Positech. What is it? The truth is, most of us won’t know. It might have something to do with computers, or maybe the internet, but in no way does it let us know what it means, or what this business is about. At best, your name is going to need a major tag-line (Positech We Market Your Internet Business) to go along with your title name in everything you publish short business brands . As people’s eyes pass this name, unless the reader has an absolute current need for this type of business and they catch the tag-line too, most people will simply pass it over–especially if there is a glut of similar businesses as well.
Small business owners get carried away with thinking about branding their name. This takes a long time, folks, and lots and lots of money. Don’t get caught up in fancy or elaborate names so much as defining and immediately letting your new audience know what you are and what you’re about.
Yes, Coke, Pepsi, Facebook and so on do just fine soft-selling, keeping the name in the public eye, without actually doing a lot of hard-selling. Their millions of dollars are simply to keep the name out there and bury it in your subconscious. And it works.
Most of us don’t have millions of dollars. We’re small businesses. So, our name is not only important, it can make the difference in not only saving tons of money as we market, but can be the difference in success from the word “go.” The higher ‘percentage’ of people reacting to your marketing the more business you’re going to get for your buck. Thus, the power of the name is power. Simple is always better. If you have to write a paragraph on what you’re company is about along with your name on everything, you take this risk of losing your reader right away. In most cases, this is exactly what happens.
B ut, let’s say you already have a name. You’ve been around long enough not to be able to change it. Or, you just love your name. Okay, it’s done. So, now you’re getting ready to promote yourself. You want to send a newsletter, or short-run newspaper or even just an advertisement of some kind, to your clients and community in search of new or repeating customers.
Titling, or naming, becomes just as important, even outside the name.
In so many ads, you’ll see the company name in large print and what they are actually selling in smaller letters. That’s because the business owner is trying to sell the name first, rather than their product. They’re trying to “brand” themselves. Unfortunately, most people just pass these kinds of ads by. Their subconscious is telling them nothing about what this is. The name itself means nothing, even though the advertiser is focused on “selling” their name. In short, this is the wrong focus. Keep your eye on the ball. What’s going to work better: “Groundforce!” in large print, or “SAVE 25% ON LANDSCAPING!”
If you name your periodical (newsletter, newspaper or brochure) the name of your company, let’s say, “The Carson Company,” and even expand on it by calling it “The Carson Company News,” what does that tell us? Very little, actually.
We recently had a company contact us to do a small mailer in the form of a newspaper. They used a name for their publication similar to the example given above'”so we will continue to use that as our example. They named their newspaper “The Carson Company Times.” Again, it failed to identify with the content of their newspaper. If they did not know the company, the title would fail to make any impact. Most of those papers will probably be thrown away.
For the sake of this example, let’s say this is an “Accounting” company. What would entice you to read this paper more if you received it in the mail; “The Carson Company Times,” or “The Tax Saving Times?” Even if the latter title is still awkward, it still tells people immediately what you’re promoting. It gives everyone who must deal with taxes a reason to read it. In small print below you can tell them about yourself and what you offer and your company name.
In most cases, the branding of a name isn’t nearly so effective in generating business as the quality and type of business that you are actually doing.
Your service, or product, is so much more important to sell than a name, especially if your name doesn’t immediately tell us what you do. Over time, the name itself will generate it’s own following by word of mouth as you deliver great service or product to all of your customers. The “branding” of your name will take care of itself.