Aaron VanderGalien is a Senior Partner at Deksia, he founded Deksia in 2004, and Deksia has been recognized for its work both regionally and nationally.View all articles written by this author
A business’s name is often the first point of contact someone has with a brand; it can also be the first roadblock toward achieving customer engagement. In my experience, the most important thing to consider when naming a company is not limiting yourself. If the name of your business creates an unnecessary feeling in the minds of customers, it can lead to trouble. It’s important to choose something that allows you the highest potential for sales and marketing ability possible. In other words, choose a name that doesn’t make the feeling of engagement any lower than it has to be.
When working with customers, I explain it to them like this: with everything you do, you create a feeling. For example, if I decide to start a business that focuses on paving parking lots, I’ve created a feeling. I’m no longer the person who washes your car, I’m no longer the person who sides your home. I’m now the person you call for paving parking lots. Now, let’s say I do any type of parking lot, from cement to asphalt, from crushed stone to rubber asphalt. If I name myself “Black Parking Lots,” a customer who wants white concrete paving will have the impression that my company won’t be able to provide that. I’ve created a feeling that limits how customers perceive my service, and that limits how successful my company will be.
Another example: there’s a company that creates wood products. The company is Cannonsburg Wood Products, after the small town it started in. The business has done very well, and has many locations throughout the state. But their name is Cannonsburg Wood Products. So if I’m in Cedar Springs, about 25 minutes from Cannonsburg, and they happen to have a location there, and I happen to come across their name when I’m looking for woodchips, I wouldn’t call them because I wouldn’t want to drive 45 minutes. And the fact of the matter is, they’re right around the corner. But because I didn’t know they had a location there, their name has a feeling that prevents me from engaging with them.
You don’t want to tie your arm behind your back, and do business one-handed. Give yourself as many opportunities for success as possible by choosing a name that opens doors instead of one that closes them.