What’s Your Most Important Marketing Decision?

There are a myriad of decisions that must be made in bringing a company or product to market.  Out of all the vital issues, one decision stands above all others as the most important.  The decision of what to name your company, product or service.  What makes the name so important?

Crucial First Impressions

The name is the first piece of information customers encounter in the sales cycle.  It plays a crucial role in forming first impressions.

In our communication overloaded age, customers don’t wait until the end of a formal sales presentation to begin forming opinions.  From the point of first contact customers start making judgements:

Is this product interesting?  Is it appealing?  Is it worth buying?  Is it worth a premium price?  Is it worth the time of day?

Names that make a great first impression open the customer’s mind to the products they represent.  They earn a place on the customer’s radar screen and create momentum for your sales efforts.

But if the name fails to communicate a pertinent message, the name and the product are swiftly cast aside as irrelevant.

Names Form Thought Patterns

When christening a product or service, you have the opportunity to plant ideas and images that command attention, pique curiosity, build emotional rapport or claim a strategic advantage over competitors.

Some Good Examples

In six short letters, Acura conveys a message of accuracy and exacting standards – excellent qualities for a luxury automobile.

Ben & Jerry’s uses personality-rich names to promote calorie-rich ice cream.  Imaginative names like Chunky Monkey, Chubby Hubby, Neapolitan Dynamite and Jamaican Me Crazy surround the high end frozen treats with a spirit of pure fun.

Spark Buying Demand

Names can also spark buying demand and accelerate the sales cycle.  Hertz entices customers to buy its GPS upgrade option with the name NeverLost.  In just three syllables, the name offers a solution to the common fear of straying into a rough neighbourhood in a strange city.  NeverLost is far more effective in the up-sell process than the accurate but boring title of GPS Mapping System.

Choose A Name Worth Repeating A Few Million Times

The name is not only the message customers encounter first, it is the message they encounter most.

The name is present every time a customer sees the product, uses the product or talks about the product.  The name is at the core of every sales pitch, webpage, video, blog post, social media page, brochure, email campaign and public relations initiative used to promote the product for years and often decades.  Over the life of the product, the name will be repeated millions of times.

An engaging name presented a million times will yield substantially better sales results than a bland name repeated a million times.

Not Just for Consumer Giants

Huge consumer goods companies have leveraged the power of naming to earn billions.  But you don’t have to be a giant corporation selling to the mass market to reap the rewards of effective naming.  Naming offers tremendous benefits for business-to-business enterprises and even start-ups.

The story of one of my clients is a great example.  A seasoned CFO contracted Identicor to name his new business – a boutique consulting firm that advises corporations on mergers, acquisitions, and other complex financial transactions.  The client needed a name that would portray his start-up company as a credible entity when competing head to head for business against international accounting firms.

A thorough, professional name development process led to the name Corplan Advisors – with Corplan being an abbreviation for corporate planning.

This concise, direct, confident-sounding name positioned the new consulting firm as a solid, trustworthy organization from its first day of operations.  The Corplan name has been very well received with clients in the target market and continues to play an important role in the firm’s growing reputation.

Not Just Any Name Will Do

Naming offers an impressive array of benefits.  But capitalizing on the possibilities is by no means automatic.  The results you’ll realize depend on the quality of the name you choose.  Not just any name will do.

If you select a name with a compelling message and engaging imagery, then every time the name appears, you’ll create a sales opportunity.

But on the other hand, if you select a name that conveys a non-message or the wrong message then every promotional piece you create will have to compensate for a missed opportunity or waste energy correcting the naming deficiency.

Naming is your most important marketing decision.