What’s in a Name? EVERYTHING

In my live ‘CONNECT!’programs, I often ask the participants this question: “what’s the most important decision a start-up business makes?”

The answers range from things like “to actually start” (I like that one) to “make a profit” (and by the way, that should never be THE reason). And invariably someone will come up with the answer I’m looking for: what name they choose for the enterprise.

It’so true. What you call yourself in business is stunningly important. Choosing the right name can seriously and dramatically increase your attractiveness.

Let me show you how by using two real-life illustrations from clients, one a medical doctor, the other the people who do our Search Engine Optimisation work. [DISCLOSURE: both companies used in the examples are clients of B1G1 and they use B1G1 to give them the power to change lives. You may check it out right here.]

Dr. Joe Kosterich is a Medical Doctor, a professional speaker, a health commentator, a medical journalists, a TV presenter and, most importantly for this story, an author.

His first book was called, ‘The 8 Pillars of DIY Health’ with the subtitle ‘Putting you in charge of your health’.

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It sold well. But not as well as Joe had wanted (something that’s almost universally true for authors, by the way). And I remember when I first saw it, it simply didn’t ‘grab’ me.

That’s in spite of the fact that the contents were great. It’s all about how many times we’re being told (by the medical profession!) to take things and do things that are actually injurious to our health.

There’s even a word in the English language that defines that kind of thing: ’quackery’. My dictionary defines quackery as:  ‘deceit, trickery, dishonesty and fraud’. And it’s such a common word that in Australia at least, people use the phrase “I’m going to the quack” to mean “I’m going to see the Doctor.”

So when the book was due to be re-launched as an eBook, I suggested to Dr. Joe that a name change was required. And in a few seconds, we had the new name: QUACK! and this time with the subtitle, ‘How to save on Doctor’s bills and lead a happier life’.

You see it’s that word ‘QUACK’ that grabs you . It’s the word that gets you to actually focus on the book and then the benefit-laden subtitle gets you to click to buy it). Here’s a picture of the new book cover to illustrate:

business start up

When you compare the two book covers, you’ll see one will jump off the shelf so much faster than the other. One will generate many more press interviews than the other. One will generate so much more ‘buzz’ than the other. And significantly, one excites Dr. Joe so much more than the other.

Now that last comment may surprise you. But the reality is that when we ourselves are excited that just ‘radiates’ around everything we do. And so we actually become more attractive in the marketplace because of it.

SEO Magic Webs owner and founder, David Anttony, is a classic example of that. We had nothing to do with David’s business name. But he came to us asking how to ‘zap’ it up; essentially asking how, as part of a branding exercise, we could add something to mix to make the name more attractive.

Again, it was one of those things that just ‘came’. So now David’s business name carries the ‘tag’ line: ‘making the web work wonders for you’. And of course, when you write it like this: ‘making the web work wonders for you’ it makes the whole thing even clearer and focused.

Business Start up | Business names

And that clarity and focus is critical. It has literally energized David (not that he didn’t already have a ton of energy- he did) to the point where he radiates and attracts so much more in the marketplace.

I remember once sharing the speaking platform with Dr. Ken Blanchard, the legendary author of the ‘One Minute  ……’ books such as ‘One Minute Manager’ and so on.

Business Start up | Business names

It was about a year after ‘One Minute manager’ had been released. The book was, it seemed, not just on everyone’s lips but, even more importantly, on everyone’s desks!

I asked Ken what was the most important insight he got from writing the book. “Oh that’s easy,”he said. “The title is everything! That has been the real key to the book’s stellar performance in the marketplace.”

Ken’s point is crucial. Your business name is like the book title: get a great one, people will buy it, talk about it and so on. Get an ordinary one, it (and you) will gather dust.

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