Business Name Mistake #2

The Aardvark is not a pretty animal.

In a previous post I gave my insight into a mistake business owners make when naming their business.  Today’s post looks at another mistake; choosing a business name which will be first in an alphabetical listing.  Think of a number between one and five, write that many “A”s followed by the work Aardvark.  The more “A”s you have the closer to the beginning you will be.  This is something that is done to be listed first in a telephone directory.  Choosing to name you business after this creature only works if you want to be listed first.  Is this the right symbol for your business?

People don’t choose a business because it’s first on an alphabetical list.  If a consumer is looking for laser eye surgery what criteria do they use to choose?  This is their eye sight so at the very least they are looking for a competent surgeon.  Will they choose AAA Aardvark Eye Clinic?   Let’s choose another category where safety is not as much of an issue.  If a person needs new glasses they may be looking for fashion, selection, speed (glasses in an hour), price.  These are four different reasons behind the choice of store the consumer will contact.  Does AAA Aardvark Optical speak to any of these issues?

Last century, telephone directory advertising became the staple for many service businesses.  We are going to see less of this going forward as telephone directories decline in importance (see “Phone Directory Advertising“).  I have always maintained that this is a poor way of choosing a business name, even in a directory world.  Now in this era of online search few people refer to a paper directory.  An alphabetical business name does evern less for you.

If your business is established and successful with a name chosen to be a first listing, what do you do?  Having an alphabetical name doesn’t prevent you from being successful, it just doesn’t offer much help.  If you have been in business and are established and successful you much decide if the equity you have in the name outweighs renaming.  More on this issue in future posts.