The cashier swiped my credit card.
She looked closely at the name.
“HELLO, my name is Scott…?” she said, “What is that?”
“Oh, that’s the name of my company,” I smiled.
“Really? So what do you do?”
“I wear a nametag all the time.”
She furrowed her brow and tilted her head.
“Are you serious?” she chuckled.
“Yep! And I write books, speeches and training materials on approachability.”
“Ohhhhh,” she nodded. “I get it - that is so cool!”
She handed the card back to me. I thanked Susie for her help and headed out to my car.
And by the time I got back to the office, the lesson was obvious: cool names work!
Not cute. Cool.
Smart. Fun. Eye catching. EAR catching.
HERE’S WHY: In a world of infinite choice, it’s impossible for customers to keep all those company names straight.
That’s why you need to try extra hard.
Because acronyms suck.
Because nobody notices normal.
Because the world is crying for uniqueness.
SO, HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE: when naming your company, make it cool.
And make it unconfusable.
Because creativity is magnetic.
Because monograms are NOT brands.
Because generic names generate generic business.
And what you’ll discover (especially in conversations) is that cool company names tend to follow a three-step pattern of dialogue:
FIRST, someone says, “Huh?”
But wait, this is good! Because of your cool company name:
1. You’ve surprised them.
2. You’ve broken their patterns.
3. You’ve attracted their attention.
And the best way to capture someone’s attention is to B-R-E-A-K their patterns.
What’s more, you’ve created a hint of anxiety in the air. And this is the best time to give someone new ideas.
SECOND, you articulate your company’s value.
Your USP. Your value statement. Your positioning statement.
Make sure it’s clear, concise and emotional. No more than ten words. Leave no doubt in the other person’s mind what you do and how your company delivers value.
Consider the formula described in John Jansch’s Duct Tape Marketing:
Action Verb (what you actually do)
Noun (target market you do it for)
Benefit (the result of what you do)
For example, “I teach nurse practitioners how to provide more empathetic patient care.”
JUST REMEMBER: Surprise attracts attention, but only interest keeps attention.
THIRDLY, you await the “Aha!”
At this point in your conversation, you’ve already attracted someone’s attention. You’ve already delivered your value statement.
Now comes the best part.
You’ve heard of the “Aha moment,” right?
Well, the challenge is framing your conversation in a way that supports it.
See, the only reason the “Aha!” is effective is because you FIRST got the person to say, “Huh?”
That’s the magic of these three steps, when used properly. Huh?, then value, then Aha!
THE BEST PART: when you sandwich these two emotions (Huh? And Aha!) around your value statement, three things happen to your conversation partner:
1. You become awfully hard for her to resist.
2. You become awfully hard for her to forget.
3. You becomes awfully hard for her (not) to tell other people about.
AND LET’S FACE IT: the only time companies are successful is when people are actively and positively talking about them.
If you break patterns, you get noticed.
If you get noticed, you get remembered.
If you get remembered, you get business.
Do yourself a favor. Get a cool company name.
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What's the coolest company name you've ever seen?
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Share how you reacted when you first saw it.
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
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Thursday, May 24, 2007
The cashier swiped my credit card.