What’s in a name? I’m going to guess, more than you think.
A few weeks ago, I attended my first two Obsidian new client meetings. In both meetings, during introductions, our clients inquired about the firm’s name. Kerri Guyton, the director of client services, confidently explained that our name is a metaphor of the natural forming rock, obsidian. She explained that obsidian is a volcanic glass formed when molten lava meets water and is rapidly cooled. As our website states, Kerri told the groups that Obsidian Public Relations tempers fires and gives you a solid, impenetrable foundation in an ever-fluid business environment. Kerri was able to explain the mission and purpose of our firm without hesitation because of a simple question. The response from her answer was exactly what an organization would aim for, as the clients expressed their appreciation and confidence in our firm – just because of the meaning behind our name.
Is the name of your organization really that important? Surely you can guess that my answer is, without a doubt, “yes!” The name of our firm provides us with an elevator speech, a mission statement, a memorable name for current and future clients and a properly projected image for our firm. The most recognized companies today have thoughtful and useful reasons behind the names of their organizations, and it is by no mistake. Branding is an important part of public relations, and finding the perfect name for a business can be the most valuable kick-start to a successful branding campaign.
When beginning your next branding campaign, consider these questions when choosing your company’s name:
1. Is it unique?
2. Does it tell your company’s story?
3. Is it memorable?
4. Does it project a proper image of your company?
5. Has it already been used?
If “absolutely” is your answer to all of those questions, then you’re off to a great start. Don’t be afraid to get creative and to think outside of the box when beginning the branding process. Many companies have gone through several names before landing on the perfect one. I’m sure Blue Ribbon Sports doesn’t mean a thing to you, but the same company that now claims the name Nike is world renown. There’s a start to every process, and like all good things, it just takes time.