Naming your Business to Attract the Right Clients

March 13, 2009 | Branding, Startups

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One of the most exciting parts of starting a business is coming up with a name. The name becomes central to the brand and can help you define your target audience.

The Senior Citizen Barber Shop

seniorcitizenbarbershopI read a fun story about the local Senior Citizen Barber Shop and how it got it’s name. The full story is in the Portland Press Herald and below are the key passages:

Q: What did the shop used to be called?

A: Longfellow Barber Shop. That changed when the hippies came out in the ’60s. It was kind of funny, the telephone company called up and asked me, “What do you want to put in your ad?” I wanted to say something about senior citizens, but they kept saying you can’t do this, you can’t do that.

Then finally she said, “Let’s start over. What’s the name of the shop again?”

I told her “Senior Citizen Barber Shop.”

She said, “When did that change?”

I said, “About two seconds ago.”

Q: So the new name reflected a change in the clientele?

A: Yeah, it did. It was a big change, and it kept us alive, let’s put it that way.

Obviously this is an unusual way to go about it, but it shows that the owner understood his name was an opportunity to suggest to potential clients what his niche was.

Use your name to define your business, product or clientele

Your name can help someone figure out who you and who you work with. It allows you to build an understanding with a potential client or customer before you do anything beyond introducing yourself.

However, you do need to be careful. If you too closely define an area for your business and then you want to expand, you’re setting yourself up for confusion. Don’t box yourself into a certain service, product or client base.

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