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Business Names Really Do Matter
For effective promotion and PR, pick the right moniker.
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by Marcia Yudkin
Named at Last

Marcia YudkinIn the November 2005 issue of Inc. magazine, Norm Brodsky wrote:  "Your company's name plays little, if any, role in determining your success." 

He's absolutely right that a company with a bad or mediocre
name can reach success.  However, here are 10 reasons why coming up with a snappy, interesting and memorable name is worth the business owner's or organization's time and energy.

1. When you call or speak with strangers and mention the
name of your company, and the name in and of itself
provokes delighted recognition, this can get the business
relationship off on a positive footing.

2. A distinctive name can attract the kind of customers
you want and keep away those you don't want.  For instance,
if you can't stand dealing with those who have no sense of
humor, a punny name repels such folks.  Au contraire, if
you want people to know you're serious and weighty, a
shrewdly chosen traditional name can impress people

3. Cool company names can in and of themselves generate
media coverage, either because there's something newsworthy
in the name or because many journalists are more attracted
to highlight companies with fun names than boring ones.
Case in point:  Rent-a-Wreck.

4. A distinctive name increases repeat business because it
helps previous customers remember it when looking at a list
of possibles in the Yellow Pages or elsewhere.  For
instance, House Husband would jump out of a list of
competitors like A-1 Handyman, Acme Home Repair, etc.

5. A wisely chosen name is simple to spell and leads to
one and only one possible URL.  This enables more people
who have heard about a company to find it online.

6. A well-chosen name can embody the #1 benefit you offer
customers and make it possible to get across an appealing
marketing message in less space.

7. A hastily chosen name can lead to legal troubles or bad
PR, both adding needless expenses and needlessly alienating
customers.  Just ask my friend Andy, who had to change his
business name not once but twice in three months because he
hadn't done his homework on the name.  And just ask the
shoe company in the UK that named some new sneakers
"Zyklon," which was the name of the gas the Nazis used to
kill millions during World War Two.

8. If customers need to find you in the Yellow Pages, a
name that's near the beginning of the alphabet makes it
easier for them and may make it less crucial to have a
huge, expensive display ad.

9. A boring name contains no sparks for getting started on
persuasive descriptions of your company's products or
services, while a creative name makes it easy to riff off
it with inspired marketing copy. 

10. The name affects how people who work for the business
feel about it.  A company name they love to say and that
customers respond to positively makes for a more pleasant
working environment than does a name that is confusing,
hard to pronounce or has some negative connotations.

Marcia Yudkin is the author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity
and ten other books hailed for outstanding creativity.
Find out more about her new discount naming company, 
Named At Last, which brainstorms new company names, 
new product names, tag lines and more for cost-conscious 
organizations, at 

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