Have you ever thought about how important the name of your company is? Does your name attract business, or does it repel potential customers?

One of my first businesses was called, “Real Estate Control Corporation.” The name implied the ability to control expenses, which after all, is important to make a profit. We were in the subsidized housing management business (Section 8), with a large market and rent amounts set by the government. Expense control was a key success driver for owners of apartment complexes, but as we tried to increase our business in the “conventional” market, we struggled. One day the owner told us our name was disqualifying because it implied that we weren’t focused on increasing income.

My retail insurance agency is called “Oklahoma Business Insurors.” When we decided to get back into the personal insurance business, this wasn’t a very good fit! So, we created a different marketing entity for that line of business.

The name, or brand, of your business, is critically important in attracting the customers you want. How does your name impact your business?

Recently my wife and I were on vacation in France. While leaving the small town we were staying in one morning, I noticed a sign for a restaurant called, “The Monte Cristo.” I commented to her that I would never eat in a restaurant with such a cheesy name. The name itself, in that locale, implied to me, that it would not be high quality.

Later that evening, returning hot and tired from a day of sightseeing, we looked all over that small town for a place to eat. It was Monday and apparently, nothing was open. Noticing a few cars in front of the “Monte Cristo,” and desperate to eat so we could shower and go to bed, I swung in. Nearly deserted, but open, the “Monte Cristo” provided one of the best meals we had on our trip!

The restaurant had excellent food, service, and nice décor. Everything one would need for success in the restaurant business, but the unfortunate name kept potential customers from going inside. Unless, like me, they were desperate. I wondered what a simple rebranding would do for their business.

Do you have the name you want for your business? Does your name give you the results you expect? Have you asked potential or current customers how your name impacts their interest in doing business with you? It is worth thinking about.

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