Overstock.com is an online retailer selling everything from clothing to furniture and pretty much everything in between. According to Wikipedia, when the company was founded in 1997, it exclusively sold surplus and returned merchandise on an online e-commerce marketplace, liquidating the inventories of at least 18 failed dot-com companies at below-wholesale prices.
Well now, it’s 2017, some twenty years later and the company’s name no longer fits and they’ve had to create a marketing campaign explaining how their name no longer adequately describes their business.
As a marketing and branding consultant, I’ve worked with a number of solopreneurs who chose business names they wish they hadn’t. You see names matter. What you call yourself matters. Back in the 90s, Overstock.com did just that…sold overstocked items on the internet. Now, with fewer failed dot coms to provide merchandise they’re having to pivot and the name no longer fits.
Think it’s just business names that can confuse your customer?
The name of your event can also draw or repel your target audience and impact whether you’ll sell out, sell your big package or go home near empty handed. The wrong name can bring you an audience you never intended.
Product names also matter. Your book title matters.
I remember one potential client was adamant on a book title that was way too long. I mean really too long. It was ambiguous and gave the reader no reason to pick it up. While they were shocked that sales didn’t extend past family and friends, I was not.
When choosing a name, you want to pick a name (include a clear tagline if you must) that makes it pretty clear what you do and what you offer.
Think about how your company may grow and expand. Does that name allow you to grow and expand? Or will you find yourself having to rebrand in a few years? Rebranding isn’t a bad thing just so you know but it is costly. So going through the time, effort and testing on the front end is well worth the price of a good marketing and branding professional.
Overstock.com is having to rebrand itself and may have to undergo a name change because their core focus changed.
If you need help naming your business or product, I’m more than happy to help. Schedule your complimentary 15-minute discovery session and you’ll be on your way to building a strong and recognizable brand.