“To be given a bad name is worse than to be born with a bad fate.” ~~ Cantonese proverb
What's In A Name? A Guest Post from Tasha Kidd— Declassified from Frager Factor VIP August 2009 and more relevant now more than ever.
While it is true that a good name isn't everything, it is also true that a good name can make or break a company -- especially when that name has built-in mindshare that already owns a position in the minds of target customers. It's one thing to say you're going to be the go-to company for B2B infrastructures. Why not? Everybody is saying that. It's another thing entirely, to own the name. Own the name, and you increase the odds significantly that you are going to dominate the market, (assuming -- and it's a big assumption -- that you have a good product and/or services to start with).
If your name says what you do, then it makes it easier for customers to find you. If your name is meaningful to your product category -- and in fact captures the mindshare position in that category -- then you have a premium chance of dominating that market. Own the mindshare gateways, and you own the profit gateways to your market.
Not only that, but a lot of these companies have a great brand recognition internally, and within their tight investment and industry circles, but mergers and acquisitions and newcomers are making it more and more important to adjust thinking. "Companies that want to stay on top should maintain their brand, but not force everybody to find them through the front door," says consultant Tasha Kidd. "I want to reach people who don't know my brand, but want my products and services. It is simply impossible anymore to advertise in all channels consistently enough to penetrate customers' overloaded thoughts. I can no longer afford to force them all through the front door. I want them to find me through the back door, and the side doors, and the top and the bottom. If my target customers are already travelling by this highway or that highway, it would be great to own those highways, and have them all lead to my door. We advocate acquiring key domain names that reflect phrases and product/service categories are meaningful to your customers, and having them rollover to your branded website, through C records, or in some cases, doorway sites."
Companies typically choose company names and product names that are cryptic to the rest of the world. (Quidnunc, BSDi, Pelago, Talchion, Vytek, Quova, Finaplex, Transora, Valaran, CMGI, Wiral, Rivio (should have stuck with Biztro!), Naviant, Vocus, eStara, Kamoon, Demantra, Oediv, Prio.NET, Cisco, Teledesic, etc.) At the same time there is a lot of market confusion and market noise. It's getting downright difficult to recall who the players are. As a small business, when I'm sitting down to solve a business problem, I dont' have off the top of my head the names of the companies that provide those services. All I know, where the rubber hits the road, is that I need help with my commerce infrastructures, or I need management training, or whatever the service or product is. I want to focus on solving problems, not on finding my suppliers and vendors!
We are so early in the growth curve, and yet we're floored that a lot of companies who don't get the internet are still making customers recall their cryptic brand in a crowded and confused marketplace, and come in through the front door. It is our firm belief that the companies that are interested in survival and thriving in the coming years need to move early, to more strategic thinking that looks at customer access issues. Survivors and thrivers will be thinking now, before it's too late, "Where are my customers' thought processes already? and let's own those gateways too, and then they can come in any old door they want to, as long as they find us."
We are in a very exciting time, and the possibilities are breathtaking. A good investment in strategic "positioning" now, could reap decades of advantage.
Have a look at the ticker above and the names that command great value. Try to think about the natural mental pathways of your customer base, when thinking about products and services your company might offer. Make it easy for them to find you, by owning these natural gateways, and having them all lead to you.
What's In A Name? Mindshare Gateways Are The Profit Gateways to Your Market.