What’s in a Name – Branding 101

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by Lane Mangum, VP Business Services

When choosing the name for your company, you need to have one word at the forefront of your mind: Branding. Your company name and tagline (like a company motto) should be short, succinct, and should communicate to people what it is that you can do for them. If it’s catchy, that’s great, but it doesn’t have to be. Let me give you a couple of broad examples that you’re probably quite familiar with:

UPS: What can brown do for you?

With a name like Smuckers, it HAS to be good.

As with any business, there is more to concrete than cement and water and aggregates. Yes, you need to know what you’re doing in the shop, but if you don’t know how to get your product noticed all the fabrication skills in the world won’t do you a bit of good.

Your main goal, when you’re deciding on a business name for yourself, is to come up with something that is unique enough to stand out, but not so unique that no one can remember how to spell it. Here is some creative spelling that you might want to avoid at all costs:

  • Kreative
  • Qwick
  • Concreet (yes, this is a real-life example)
  • Nu (in place of new)

sign showing one way to brilliance the other to stupidity

The last thing you want is your customer not being able to locate you online or in the phonebook because they can’t remember how the name is spelled. You also want them to take you seriously, and having a silly name will not contribute to that.

Almost as crucial as the name itself is the tagline, or motto. Taglines are vital because they provide additional information about your company’s values or goals in one glance. It does not have to be a sentence, and it does not have to be clever, but every company should have one. Here are some examples of successful taglines that you might consider:

Sateen Concrete: Quality, Craftsmanship, Style.

Sateen Concrete: Since 1998 (this really only works if the date is a decade or more in the past.)

Sateen Concrete: 100% satisfaction guarantee—every customer, every time.

Sateen Concrete: Rekindling the love between you and your house, one counter at a time.

Let’s recap what we have so far: Company name should be unique, it should have standard spelling, and it should have a tagline.

white plastic letters scattered on black background

Let’s go more in-depth with the principals behind choosing a tagline. Whether you’re just starting your company or need to revitalize an existing business, you should know what your goals are. Your goals will shape your motto.

Is your customer always right?

Do you provide the best value for the money?

Are you focused on great design?

These questions may seem simple, but the answers will not be the same for each person; they might be wildly different, in fact, which is why you need to know where you stand. And you cannot have everything—if you do cutting edge design, your customer might not always be happy with the result. If your bottom line is a satisfied customer, you might loose money on a project. There is nothing wrong with any of those goals, and nothing wrong with having one specific focus. But you need to know what that focus is. Decide what you want your company to be known for, and follow through. This will attract the kind of clients that you want, and you will build a good reputation for yourself and your business.

One thing you should always do is Google a prospective business name. If there are several million results, you’ll want to go back to the drawing board. If there are only a few hundred thousand, that is more reasonable. It will also make it easier to get the website that you want. If you use a name that hundreds of other companies are also using, odds are not in your favor that someone who tries to look you up will find you, and not your competition. And you definitely need your company name (or some variation of it) as your website address. Websites are non-negotiable these days; at the absolute least you need a Facebook Page. See for yourself which email address looks more professional:

[email protected]
[email protected]

If you want to build trust with new clients (of course you do), this is where you need to start. They need to know who you are and how to locate you besides a telephone number.

It is not difficult to come up with a unique company name. You can always add your last name (as long as the spelling is straightforward!), or your city to the business name to really narrow those search results.

Forbes Custom Concrete
Harrison Concrete Design
Brooklyn Concrete Fabrication
Des Moines Countertop Construction

Also keep in mind that when customers are just browsing for someone in their area who can build them a concrete countertop, business names are sorted alphabetically, and the closer you are to A, the easier you will be found. On that note, do avoid scholastic impersonations, such as A+ Concrete. Again, you want people to take you seriously.

Once you have a solid brand, get your name out there! You can get business cards for the cost of shipping to hand out to prospects and for networking purposes; attend local chamber of commerce meetings; be a sponsor for a high school team; put pictures and testimonials on your website that will show people what your company can do. The power to create a thriving business is in your hands!

Happy branding….