Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Name Game

Last month I was reading on a subject that I've thought about off and on for years:

The significance of your business name.

Our parents are responsible for our given names, we are responsible of the name of our company, product or service.

Look at a few big names:

Ford. The company founded by Henry Ford was the only major automaker that did not take bailout money from the government a couple years ago. They remain strong. Their name is good. We all think of cars and trucks when we here the name Ford.

I.B.M. Do you know what those letters stood for when the company was founded over 100 years ago? Click here for the answer.

Let's look at food. McDonald's was pretty much a 1 location hamburger joint in California until Ray Kroc took over from the two brothers and spread the McDonalds name across the globe.

My grandparents started some businesses in New England include a restaurant, Howard's Restaurant that went thru three generations before it was sold to a long time employee who kept the name due to the value of the name.

Remember that phrase, the value of the name.

Locally, we have a place called Calhoun Street Soup, Salads and Spirits. Nice place, good food, but they are stuck... on Calhoun Street. They could go the IBM route, and start using their nickname CS3, and open additional locations in the future.

Some business names are self centered and tell you nothing about who, what, or why a business exists. Brian Smith Corp. Sally's. JP Enterprises. I'm sure you can find a few in your town like this too.

You need to pick a name that creates a brand and allows for future growth.

Are you creating a business that you will want to sell off one day? It might not be wise to use your name. Very few Howard's Restaurants survive when the family is out of the picture.

One more thought on the subject of business names.

Make one up.

Throw some letters together.

Make sure it is pronounceable.

Have a reason for the name too.

Google did that.

So did Yahoo!

ScLoHo was just an email address based on my first, middle and last names. Take the first two letters of each and you get a ScLoHo.

Use it enough and it becomes a personal brand. Add a couple of descriptive words and file the paperwork and you have a business. ScLoHo Marketing Solutions.

Do enough marketing and you grow.

What are your thoughts on this whole business name subject?

picture of my grandparents Mr. & Mrs Vern Howard who passed away in the 1950's

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