What’s in a name? Well, a lot actually…


Romeo Montague, the youthful and ill-fated hero of Shakespearean fame once opined: “what’s in a name?”, and for him his name cost him his love and eventually his young life, and while the risks of potential loss in using the wrong name in business are not quite so severe, it is still a matter for serious thought.

Many entrepreneurs identify themselves personally with their businesses, and name the business after themselves or their families – such as Linfox (Lindsay Fox) or Harvey Norman (Gerry Harvey) and in these cases, it is the success of their business that has made their names renowned.

However, when a business is first starting out, it is much more important that your business name actually reflects what it is that you do, and thus helps you to find customers.  In our case, from Publicity Queen, you know that we do publicity and that we have a stylish sense of humour about ourselves.  What inkling would you get from Jones Industries?

Use your business name to reflect who you are and what you do.  There are lots of both examples to admire and cautionary examples all around us.  And the interplay between your business name and your internet domain can be enlightening too.

For example, the Nepean Institute for Education and Training – this is a great business name, it identifies it with the local area (Nepean, Victoria) and shows exactly what it does.  Only trick is, when you write their aconym (www.niet.com.au) part of their web address it spells ‘niet’ which in many cultures means ‘no’.  Also, they missed the opportunity to use the suffix of ‘.edu’ which adds credibility as an education provider.  My gentle suggestion (if they asked me, and they haven’t) might be www.nepean.edu – it is short, it identifies their location and shows that they are in education.

It is also fascinating how people’s names can be an asset or a hindrance.  Recently I read about John Winning (yes, that’s his real name!) who is the brains behind AppliancesOnline.  John’s parents ran Winning Appliances (love  that – great name, personal connection and it’s obvious what they do) and he has branched out, with his new company – AppliancesOnline that leaves you in no doubt about what they are all about.

So, the point is to choose business names and domains that assist you, and that inject your own personal style and ethos, but be careful that it doesn’t get in the way of your core purpose.  Chosen carefully, it will help you to stand out from your competitors and provide an opportunity for your customers to make a genuine connection with you for the long term.

Publicity QueenYours in PR,

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