Being Cliché when Naming your Company

clicheFads come and go so fast now a days. What is cool one minute gets played out and overused and quickly becomes annoying. Being that I am in the web and photography space I see a lot of this. The term Web 2.0 is just annoying and in the photography space the word Couture is starting to get on my nerves. When it comes to naming your company it is important to name your company to last. If you bank on what is “cool” right now, you will only be cool until that word or phrase becomes annoying. A better option is to use those “fad” terms in your products or services rather then in your company name. Take Pepsi or Nike for example, they will use certain words or phrases in their advertising campaigns but would never name a product they expected to last forever after a Cliché. Even the athletes and other personalities they endorse have a short term effect overall on their product base. For the early adapters using Couture in your business name made people think you were a higher class of product than the others. Now it is overused and it is just a matter of time before it is played out. Let me really get to my main point and passion for writing this post.

You are you and nobody else, place or thing is you. Not to say that you need to name your business after your name but be original. Take some time to come up with something completely original. Playing off of other well known names like Couture, Dolce, Bella and the list goes on is not really original. In website design, calling yourself a webmaster, web 2.0 specialist, social marketing expert or any other overused term is not going to provide you much in the long term. Look at the companies or people who are killing it in each space right now, they are being original and doing something different.

Following the fad works for shoes or clothing but they always make it to the back of your closet or the donate pile. Don’t position your business to end up in the back of the closet unless you only care about the short term. My guess is that you want to have a profound effect in your industry and make your place in the biz world. This will only happen if you position yourself and your business to be unique and memorable.

My last thought has more to do with getting found online through search. If your business name is for lack of a better explanation, “so cliché” thus not being at all unique, how are you going to stand out in search and be found easier. Take photography for example. Say there are 100 photographers out there with Couture in their business name. How much easier would you be to find if you had used your own name for example. Stop underestimating the power of your own name especially if your business is extremely personal like photography is. Do you think Jerad Hill is the most market-ably exciting name to use out there? Does not sound as cool as David Jay or countless others I have heard, but it is me and I want people to associate my work and what I bring to the table with my name, especially in a world where so much is hidden behind fronts.

What are your thoughts on naming and using certain words of phrases in your advertising?


  • stacyZ
    July 17, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Great point. In the fashion world you are only supposed to use Couture if you are trained in France at the specific center. Cannot remember the specifics but it always irked me from the purist since.

    Love this post. Very informative! I look forward to getting to know you better Jerad!


  • Jerad Hill
    July 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks for the comment StacyZ. I knew there was some sort of deal with using the Couture name in fashion. However to me anymore it is just a platitude and no different then using words like Amazing to explain something. It would be one thing if it literally added value to a name but when I think of Couture I also think of overpriced and a slight aspect of “this is to good for you” as well. I never want my business name to do anything but inspire whether it is my name or a name I come up with to represent what I do.

  • Leila Jones
    July 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Jerad great ideas! Thanks for offering the insight! So glad to have you as part of the FTP group!

  • Karen Stott
    August 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks Jerad…totally helped me in my current situation. Thanks for sharing.

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