So, is a name really that important?  Does it matter what name a business is given?  When marketing a business or a product, the quality of a name can be the difference between success and failure.  Consider for a moment the following examples.  In the late 1980s Sony’s Betamax home video format was defeated by JVC’s VHS format, even though most experts declared Betamax as a superior format to VHS.  Some have attributed part of the failure of Sony’s Betamax division to bad marketing and a name that sounded more like an over-the-counter drug than a videocassette format.  Years ago, when Proctor and Gamble introduced a new laundry detergent, they considered naming it “Dreck.”  Part of their plan was to market this new product in Europe.  Before introducing “Dreck” to European markets, Proctor and Gamble discovered that Dreck is a slang word for garbage or dirt in German.  They quickly renamed the product “Dreft,” which remains a popular laundry detergent sold in the United States and Europe.

If you are considering starting a business, it is important to spend some time selecting the right name for your business.  A name should be unique enough to make you stand out above the competition.  It should also adequately describe to potential clients what your business does.  Business names such as United Airlines and Ford Motor Company leave no doubt as to the type of services those companies provide.  It is also important to select a business name that is not currently being used by another business.  This helps avoid trademark infringements along with ensuring that your business remains unique in the marketplace.

For additional reading:

Protecting Your Business

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