Valentine’s Part 1: Name (and bedroom) makeover

[Cache – #55]

With Valentine’s Day in sight, it may be time to finally face a question you’ve been dreading: are you truly in love with your business name?  Your name is an unparalleled opportunity to differentiate your brand by saying something meaningful about who you are and what you do. But what if this vital tool just isn’t doing it for you anymore?

The high road: couple therapy

Here’s the first thing you must accept: even if it’s a dud, it’s not fair to place all the blame on your name. Your tagline has to bear some responsibility too. Think about bank Wells Fargo. It was a homely moniker that alone, meant practically nothing. But then it got a makeover from a tagline that played beautifully on Fargo: Together we’ll go far.

The takeaway: you can get more value from your name by developing a tagline that integrates with it, thus creating a mutually supportive relationship.

Breaking up

It could be that the only way out is to dump your name outright. But it’s obviously risky, because you don’t want all those admirers out there to forget you. It all comes down to a cold cost/benefit calculation: in relation to the mindshare you are almost certain to lose in a name change, what is to be gained in terms of awareness that 1. you still exist, and 2. you still have something special to offer?

Hedging your bets

Maybe you’re not ready for divorce. A slightly less drastic approach is to not fire your name outright, but to evolve it into something with at least a bit of pizzazz. Think about how United Information Systems morphed into Unisys or how Standard Oil derived Esso from the first letter of each word.

If the cost/benefit of a name change just doesn’t add up for you, a change of tagline might spice things up. Chances are you’ll need something descriptive: consider how The great adventure people spices up a name as bland as G Adventures.

The unfortunate truth
Ultimately, your feelings don’t matter.  The question is not whether you love your name, but whether it does the job of telling your story.  Think of it as a marriage of convenience.


Valentine’s Day Bedroom Makeover Contest

Condo Rehab – an interior decorating business with a great name – is running a Valentine’s Day Bedroom Makeover Contest worth $3,000.  Enter by “liking” the Condo Rehab Facebook page:



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