Are you wasting words in your business name?

Are you wasting words in your business name?

Yesterday, I followed a van along the motorway. It was a modern, well-kept van with stylish livery featuring a large logo. The company name - Motor Screen - was accompanied by a prominent strapline: Auto Glazing.

I’m guessing that when they came to name their business, they wanted to spell things out; to tell their potential customers exactly what the business does. They did what many businesses do, and went for a purely descriptive company name. That way, nobody could be in any doubt about what the business was all about. Right?

Descriptive company names seem to make sense

Like many businesses, they fell into the trap of thinking that a descriptive business name would avoid all potential confusions. It won’t. 

After all, Motor Screen could be a vehicle finance credit-checking agency, or the manufacturer of sun visors for passengers, or an electrically-powered awning business…

So when it came to the crunch, they added an extra layer of clarification. Hence ‘Motor Screen - Auto Glazing’. So clear, they named it twice.

But they’ve done more than waste words. They’ve wasted an opportunity to convey a bit of personality, to be different, and to be memorable. Even though they’ve stated the same thing twice, their name is so generic that it’s instantly forgettable. (As an aside, I have since tried to find them on Google and can only find similarly-named competitors.)

No name can say it all, no matter how descriptive you think it is.

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