What's In a Name?

 


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One of the many things Jay Levinson lists as a guerrilla marketing tool is the name of your business. When I read this, I thought, how can a name be a marketing tool? The more I thought about it, however, the more this made sense to me.

In most advertising, the name takes up the most space. We don’t want readers, viewers, or listeners to forget who we are. If they listen to our advertising message, decide they really need to become our customers, and then can’t remember who they wanted to order their must-have specialty widgets (or service) from, they’ll buy it from someone else. We will have provided someone else with free advertising, simply because of the function of our name.

But what if our advertising works in reverse? Suppose all the reader/listener/viewer remembers is our name. If they can’t remember what they wanted to purchase, then they will shrug us off and forget us.

So many times, we aim to create a memorable name that really doesn’t describe what we do. And if folks passing by on the street don’t know what our business is for, the odds are good that they won’t stop in to see how we can help them.

While I drove through Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on our ‘vacation’, I made a note of some great names. In all cases, I won’t need to tell you what the business was. The two most well known, of course, are Subway and Dollar Tree. Subway is a clever play on a restaurant to purchase…subs! And at Dollar Tree, everything is a dollar.

I also passed ‘Beach Memories Scrapbook Store’. Remember, this was on the beach. I thought this was a fantastic name. Not only does it let you know what it is – a scrapbook store – but it also acts as advertising. What scrapbooker, wanting to save memories from their fabulous vacation, could resist a store named ‘Beach Memories’? This even has the chance to appeal to the occasional scrapbooking tourist.

Another restaurant I saw whose name made me giggle was ‘Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet’. Now, spelled out on paper, this doesn’t seem remarkable. However, the words “Jimmy" (without the ‘s) and “Buffet" were slightly larger than the rest of the words, thus making the phrase “Jimmy Buffet" stand out. A clever play on words that proves itself memorable – I didn’t even have to look at my notes. If we hadn’t been just driving by, I would have loved to show you how the sign worked well as advertising, also. Overall, a ten.

The last place wasn’t so clear as to what they did, but you would never forget where they were. “Mile Post 6 Plaza" is located directly beside…mile post six! This seemed to be more of a strip mall, with several businesses located inside, but I found it quite interesting. The name here is functional, works for the several companies inside, and makes sure you don’t forget where you are!

Many years ago, Romeo asked Juliet, “What’s in a name?" A good small business owner should know that, while a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, it wouldn’t sell as well. No, wait, ‘rose’ isn’t a good name for a business…. but you get the idea!

Nola Redd maintains a blog for small business owners . This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.Facsimile.Com/ which is a site for Fax Machines .

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