Hi again. I’m Rich Cruz, a marketing professional in the Chicago area, and I’m bringing another installment of a series of videos I’m putting together called “Buildin My Digital Business.” In this series, I’m trying to show you how I help other businesses to create their online presence from scratch. I’m going to do this by actually building my own business online from nothing to what I plan to be a revenue-generating system.
My Old Company Name
Just another bit of a backstory. In my previous video, I told you how I once owned a storefront sign company which ended shortly after the market crash in 2008. That sign company was Behold! Signs and Graphic Solutions. Boy, was I proud of that name. I thought I really evoked what I wanted the signs to do for businesses – for customers to “behold” our beautiful creations.
I’ll never forget that I had an older gentleman come into my shop one day and ask for the owner. He was deaf, but was very good at reading lips. The little bit of sign language I retained having taken a year of it as a second language in my first year at the University of Chicago came in handy too. He proceeded to introduce himself as a former typesetter and letterpress operator. Then, he looked me in the eyes and said, “I just wanted to let you know that your logo sucks.”
I was taken aback, and I proceeded to ask him why.
He explained to me the psychology behind typestyles and how my logo, which had letters which were mostly capital, “screamed” at people unnecessarily. He further explained that he felt that the name was confusing and spent about an hour shooting holes in my logo. He then warmly shook my hand and turned around and left.
The next day he came back, asked for me by name, again shook my hand, and said, “I like you. You listened to me, and you didn’t get angry. Other people may have thrown me out of their store, but you didn’t, and I like that.” Bob and I became good friends at that moment, and I saw him nearly every day every since until he sadly passed away.
What do I take away from this story?
- The name of your company should be memorable and, therefore familiar.
- You may want the name of your local business, in particular, to speak to the masses about what you do.
In my work, I’ve dealt with a lot of mom-and-pop businesses including laundromats. Laundromats are notorious for having business names that are very generic and signage which just says “laundromat” or “lavanderia” in red channel letters. That’s going way too extreme on being familiar and talking about what your business is about.
However, I think some of the companies I’ve built such as Behold! Signs and Graphic Solutions or Impresivo Prints (a company that did photos printed and stretched on canvas) were really too vague an weren’t at all familiar.
Defining Your Business Name
Certainly, when you look at brands in the supermarket, you have ones which just have a memorable name: Coors, Coke, Hershey’s, etc. But, the reality is that your mind uses that name rather adjectivally to describe the product: Coors Beer, Coke Soda/Pop, Hershey’s Chocolate, etc. These products NOW are familiar enough to have earned that place in our minds.
But, just starting out, your company may not have that. So, you may want to consider a name that has what you do in the title. You may also want to consider how you wish to be perceived. If you’re an accountant specializing in law firms, for instance, you may want something like “Nothing But the Truth Accounting” (maybe a little long, but it could be catchy). It speaks of law (the target market) and of what the company does (accounting services). Similarly, instead of Bob’s Laundromat, maybe something like “Spiffy Clean Coin Laundry” which conjures a fun experience, a clean store, and says what it is.
I chose “Build My Digital Business” as a fictional name for my existing corporation. I personally think it not only describes what we’ll be doing together for free during this series, but I hope that it also says to my audience that I can help them to build their online presence if they need help doing so.
I may go into that later in the series, but I actually legally registered that name of my business entity as a DBA (Doing Business As) for my company Greater Chicago Consulting, Inc.
So, what are you going to name your business? Put your answer in the comments here.
Don’t forget to subscribe to whatever channel on which you found this video. I’ll see you in the next episode.