Itís all in a name. (Brand you)

It may be all in a name. At least that is part of the recipe for success for your business. “The art of the start”. So the question is – can people tell what you do by the name of your company? And the next question is, if you work as an independent representative of a company on a commission or franchisee type of compensation- are you branded as you and your name or as the company and their name?

Naming your business is one of the very first things to consider – and often the most difficult part of getting started. And so to get the ball rolling- people often settle for the best they can come up with at the time because they have to get the business cards printed, the website up and the ad in the local paper. I know. I too have committed this fatal error.

Look around you at the number of businesses who have not only branded themselves, but identified an entire industry with the name of their business – even having their names added to the dictionary in the process. What great advertising is that? Ski-doo. Google. Xerox. Because of their branding and incredible creativity they have successfully integrated their company name into everyday language. Can you do this on a limited budget- not that easily. However you can at least ensure that your name easily identifies what you do and who you are. Your name and a tag line can tell people what you do and why they should use you in a catch phrase that you can use everywhere you go.

Here are a couple simple examples of business names and tag lines I have invented or seen that give you an idea of what I mean.

‘Massage Works’ – Hands on Stress Relief - tells volumes about what they do and reassures the potential client that they will be relieved of stress. I want to go- how about you?

‘A-Count-Ability Bookkeeping - Count on us to keep your finances recorded’ Hmm… what does that say? I read responsibility in that message- something we like to link with our money. I think I will hire them.

Including your name in your business is fine, but instead of just your name try also adding a descriptive of the service with it in your tag line. Using a word with movement in it can create the vision of action in a prospective clients mind. This will give the prospective new client the idea that you will give him the attention that he needs or may describe the strength and value of your company.

‘Healing Hands’ is a very powerful statement. Adding the industry to the title here really says all the client needs to know. ‘Healing Hands Chiropractic’ speaks volumes. You get the point.

Once you have the name you need – now comes the time to brand your product, services and sometimes self to reflect what you do. It is when you confuse your message that people become unsure about what you have to offer them. For many who may need your product but do not understand your industry- this is even more important. The word ‘marketing’ or ‘logistics’ may seem like Greek to most people. Words like ‘catering’ and ‘cleaning’ are much more common and adding descriptors to these words may be all you need to brand yourself. If you must use words that are not part of everyday language make sure that your tag line is easy to remember and describes what you do.

Finally when looking at the name of your business make sure that you use simple everyday words whenever possible. As an example, a car repair company tripled its business by interchanging the word ‘repair’ with ‘fix’. Hard to believe, but when you think of your car- you generally say I need to get my car fixed.

If you are having difficulty attracting clients and you know your business is one people need- take a moment and ask people what your business name says to them. (Ask people who do not know for sure what you do.) And do not be afraid of asking for professional help in developing your name or your brand. There really is a little bit of magic in creating just the right look and feel to a business. It’s why the big guys pay the big bucks to get the right branding. Think about it. “Just Do It”, “Why buy a mattress anywhere else”.

Successful Marketing begins with your business name. Make it easy to say, easy to remember and let it speak volumes about what you do and why someone should call you!

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Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

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