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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Naming A Dog Walking Business
7/6/2010 at 10:37 PM ET
I started a dog walking business but havent given it a name yet. Any ideas would be appreciated!!
7/6/2010 at 10:59 PM
Dead with him??? Wow! You're asking for a name. Let me relay this to you: The NAME really means VERY LITTLE with respect to the success of a business. You "started" the business - which to me means you have one or more clients. They hired you WITHOUT a name! They hired you based on the trust you instilled with them. So pick any name: <Town Name> Dog Walking or <YOUR NAME> Dog Walking or trusted Dog Walking or whatever! To get business, it's YOU showing them that you will take care of their pooch and end of story! You could be "Unnamed Dog Walking" and it would not matter except for the name they put on their check for you!
I hope this helps.
7/6/2010 at 11:15 PM
7/6/2010 at 11:15 PM
7/6/2010 at 11:36 PM
Not a problem. I just want to make sure that you remember that it's all about you getting customers - and the name really isn't that critical. What's important is to meet the needs of your clients. As you are starting and building your business, concentrating on your clients' needs is the best thing you can do. People are going to hire you based on you, not the name. Of course, you can pick a name that will "detract." Like if you call yourself, "I Hate Dogs" - that will detract. So use the name that is your first instinct - what you would like to be known as - what you think would be a good name.
7/7/2010 at 10:17 AM
Vanilla naming is fine if you are okay just fitting in with everyone else out there who may already know your business personally.
That is usually new owners first interest but after a while being seen as different is also very common for ambitious people wishing to attract clients who don't know them apart form others.
Let us know if you would like to add spice to your business name. We'll help distinguish your firm from all the others out there with your help.
7/7/2010 at 11:29 AM
What makes you different from, and better than, other dog walkers in your area? Why should a dog owner hire YOU?
When you have the answer to that question, we can craft a name that communicates the unique benefit you provide.
It might also help if you can clearly define your target audience: Where do they live? Who is walking their dogs today? What do they look for in selecting a dog walker? Etc.
7/9/2010 at 12:53 PM
I disagree, I think having a name is very important, it sets you apart from other businesses in your area. A catchy name helps people remember you, people who might not know you personally.
Think about names that would have an original logo, as a logo is just as important as the name:
Barks in the Park
words to brainstorm with: pup, wags, canine
7/11/2010 at 10:08 AM
7/11/2010 at 2:58 PM
Didn't want you to be confused in all this expert dialog on a name being important or not. I DID NOT say a name isn't important! I said it wasn't the only factor nor is it the MOST important factor in a successful business. It also isn't the prime reason a customer remembers your business. One of the experts on MarketingProfs said it best: A name doesn't make a business. A business makes a name. Perfectly said. Concentrate on establishing our business and on needs of your customers. As Mr. Goodman said above:
What makes you different from, and better than, other dog walkers in your area? Why should a dog owner hire YOU? When you have the answer to that question, we can craft a name that communicates the unique benefit you provide.
If you have the MOST clever name ever and miss these points, it's all for naught. Look at some of the successful businesses out there and their names. Google - Clever? No, it sounds like one year old gibberish. Let's look at the Fortune 500:
1. Wal-mart Named for the founder. Not so clever. Memorable? Perhaps, because KMart already existed. But everyone knows it now.
2. Exxon - renamed from ESSO. ("S" "O" - Standard Oil). Because of some brand difficulties in the late 60's, the company decided to rebrand. It wanted Exon - in keeping with other four letter names (ESSO, ENCO, etc) but there was a Nebraska governor with that name so they added the second "X." Clever? Nah! Memorable up front? I doubt it. Think about it: People probably didn't know how to pronounce it. The company made the name.
3. Chevron - traces its roots from Pacific Coast Oil and then Standard Oil of California (SoCal) when Standard Oil was broken up by the federal government for antitrust violations. The company merged with Gulf Oil and changed its name to Chevron. Their logo certainly agrees with the name - the two "V's" are called "chevrons." That's certainly clever. But, I bet not many people think of that today.
4. GE - Originally known as Edison General Electric, formed by Thomas Edison and was a group of businesses in the electric generation and distribution business. Then it became just General Electric. The company name became just "GE" in late 80's because just a small part of the business was related to electric and it wanted to "modernize" the company image. Not so clever. The company definitely made the name.
5. Bank of America - yah, it's a bank. Exciting and clever, right? Nope - just plain plain.
8. Ford Motor
9. J.P. Morgan Chase
So of the top 10 - any cutesy, clever names? You might argue that one or two are (Chevron and Conoco). Going down the rest of the list, 26 is Valero Energy - kind of cool. 30 Target - cool logo/name combination. 36 is Microsoft - some pizzazz there.
In general, MOST are plain "vanilla" who have become household names because the company made the name. The companies addressed needs better than competitors and became known through consistent brand strategy and promotions.
Making it more "local" - how many times have you picked restaurant based on its name? If you are like others I know, maybe a couple times, but most times you look at what kind of cuisine they serve AND ask around to see if someone you know has eaten there and had a good experience. How about any other business. Same story? Probably. How many times have you NOT used a business because the name didn't communicate something that appealed to you? Probably many more times than you chose to do business because of the name.
Names for products and/or services? Yes, I believe this is a key factor - more so than the company name. Suppose you named your company "C. Spot Walk." If you came up with three levels of walking, just a walk, a walk and some play time, and a walk, playtime, and socialization with other dogs" - calling them, Standard, Deluxe, and Super Deluxe wastes an opportunity for "mind space" (software companies do this ALL the time). Instead, call them "Walk Spot Walk," "Fun With Spot, " and "Spot and Friends."
So, yes, names are important. Pick a bad one and it can detract. But, in general, it's the company that makes the name. Pay attention to what makes your company and to satisfying the needs of your customers. They will make your name.
7/21/2010 at 7:27 AM
I am closing this question since it's more than 2 weeks old. We do this to reward the contributions of participants in a timely manner + to give increased visibility to the newer questions.
Thanks for participating!
Carrie (Production Editor)
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