I made a mistake with the original name of my company, calling it DSM Zander Marketing. It was an amalgamation of the names of our six children and had nothing to do with what services I provided. I renamed the company to Successful Internet Strategies. Today it’s morphed into a broader SuccessIS.
Lesson: Business is about your customers, not about you. It makes infinite sense to have a name that helps people understand how you can help them. How many business owners create names like I did? A name which had meaning only to themselves, a name so obtuse it takes three paragraphs to explain the concept or ones which don’t make immediate sense or is downright confusing?
This past July while running a database marketing workshop in Queensland, the topic of business names came up. One of the participants came from a general medical practice. We were talking about filling their appointment books, websites and search ranking. Caren lamented about the company not getting much business. “What is your company do” I asked. “It’s a natural health and therapy practice incorporating services such as acupuncture, homoeopathy, sports injury therapy”. “What is the name” I queried. “Psychological and Rehabilitation Services” was her answer. Every single mouth in that workshop dropped open incredulously.
A discussion followed covering several internet marketing strategies. Every single person in the group strongly suggested a business name change. Two months later they have incorporated the advice, They also changed their business name to Integrated Work Health. The website is getting a fantastic response with many referrals coming in. Most pleasing is they’re now booked solid!
Four more considerations when naming a company or product
- Identifies the business with the owner could prove troublesome if the business fails or if it sells. Think Mike Pero. He’s moved on to flight simulators but they still need him for branding.
- Location or specific product names.
- Lacks a unique identity.
- Would not receive much protection under trademark laws.