by Lisa Sisley on June 13, 2019
In Part One, I shared some observations about mindset regarding what you’re “selling,” whether that’s a product or a service. I advised that you don’t fall in love with what you’re selling, but rather with your customer, and give them what they want.
This time, let’s talk about other ways that a little hard-heartedness can serve your business well. Staying in the black is hard enough. Avoid these basic mistakes and give yourself a leg up!
A Too Clever Name
The name is one of most personal and emotional aspects of your business, isn’t it? Kristin’s grandmother came up with the “New Boston” part of our name. (Kind of embarrassing to admit this, since we frequently name things for clients…but we were stuck, OK?) Thank goodness the name worked on a lot of levels: geography, history, good Kansas story. It has served us well because it actually means something to us and, most importantly, to our clients.
We sometimes see names that mean a lot to the owner, often having some sentimental significance, but no relevance to those outside the business. These names can be too hard to remember, too much like other business names, too cryptic for search engines to figure out.
The name should at least give some clues about who you are, what you do and where you do it. “ABC, Inc.” doesn’t cut the mustard. (Yes, good branding gives meaning to an otherwise enigmatic name…. but ideally, your name should speak for itself.)
Make it easy for people to remember the name of your business. Your kids and dogs will understand if you don’t use their initials, as long as you keep bringing home the bacon.
A Tagline That Could Belong to Any Business
Unique tags can be excruciatingly tough to come up with, and the process gets complicated when paired with the business name. We like to cover as much as we can about what the business does, and how it does it.
We sometimes have to help clients avoid generic or extravagant tags. We once worked with a research sector client whose current tag was, “Learn. Discover. Explore.” and they wanted a new one, but were stuck. I said their tag could belong to a preschool (a snarky observation they, luckily for me, appreciated), and our team worked with them to come up with a descriptive, concise tag that furthered their goals.
A good tag doesn’t have to be earth shaking or revolutionary. It just has to help customers understand more about who your business is, and how they’ll benefit from working with you.
The Logo That Your Nephew Designed 30 Years Ago
Like mullets and leisure suits, some things are best left in the past. An outdated or unprofessional visual identity doesn’t project an image that’s helpful to your business. In fact, it’s actively hurtful.
Look at the logos of the most successful businesses in the world. They were all created or refreshed recently, I promise you. Your nephew will understand that it’s also time to refresh your image for the 21st century.
A Clunky URL
A cousin of the too clever name, getting cute with hyphens and numerals and “alternate” spellings for your business or web domain is never a good idea. It seems simple, but sometimes folks get so cute with the URL that they don’t consider whether it will help or hinder customers when finding their business online. Don’t put up roadblocks to selling your stuff! Make sure your URL is distinctive, helpful and easy to type.
Avoiding such simple mistakes will help customers understand and remember your business, which means more success for you. If you’d like a little help with any of these tasks, shoot us a message!