The name you choose for your landscape company is the most important marketing decision you will ever make. Period.
The right name...
- will reinforce your position (identity) in the mind of your prospects.
- can differentiate you from your competition
- can establish you as the leader in a new category (ex.- Eco-Sprinkling)
- can lead to favorable publicity
- can lead to favorable consumer perceptions
Whether you are beginning a new landscape business or considering a name change for your company, here are some guidelines to consider.
#1: Don't be cute or clever
Dirty Hoe Landscaping is clever. It's even proved clever enough to garner numerous press clippings. But, how do you think consumers perceive the company?
Muddy Boots Landscaping is another cute name. I certainly wouldn't stake the future of my company on that name. Would you?
If not cute, then what?
#2: Use words that reflect the identity you are trying to create
How would you like to be perceived by prospects? This is the question you need to start with when naming your landscape company. Choosing the right name begins the positioning and branding process.
What should a company specializing in organic lawn care call themselves? How about "Organic Lawn Care"? Too simple? Not clever enough? I don't think so. The name clearly reflects their specialization and position.
Eco-Sprinkling is a word my friend Greg Winchel of Winchel Irrigation trademarked. Eco-Sprinkling would be a brilliant name for an irrigation company who positions themselves as a leader in "sustainable and responsible" irrigation design.
Choose a name that clearly identifies who you are and how you are different. Who would you work with: Dirty Hoe Landscaping or Eco-Sprinkling?
#3: Use your own name...sometimes
I'm convinced using your personal name as part of your business name is a smart move...sometimes. There are a lot of variables so I'll only focus on who this approach is best for.
If you are someone who is not afraid to put yourself "out there" and be the face of your company, then attach your personal name to your brand. This is even more important today with social media changing the marketing landscape.
Some of the most successful companies in the world have or had a famous face leading them. Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon are two examples.
Susan Cohan Gardens is a great name. Susan uses her blog and other social media channels to effectively grow her business. Her name and face is on everything. Would she have as much success with a name like Greenview Landscaping and hiding behind a generic company logo? Not a chance.
#4: Use words that look good and sound good
Your business name should be pleasing to the eyes and ears. When your name sounds good the chances of people spreading your name actually increase.
My name, Chris Heiler, doesn't sound good or look good. If I were to change the name of my old landscape design firm I would have changed it from Fountainhead Gardens to Christopher James Gardens. Christopher James is easier to pronounce and sounds a lot nicer than Chris Heiler.
#5: Keep it simple
The more simple the name, the more likely that people will remember it. Fountainhead Design Group was the first name of my company. Dumb choice: People either forgot it or messed it up.
The more simple and memorable your name the more it will travel via word of mouth.
Keep your name short. I suggest keeping it to three words or less and no more than six syllables. Any more than that and people won't remember your name. A Yard & A Half Landscaping is just too long. Eco-Sprinkling is perfect, as is HighGrove Partners (client).
Look at the top ten global brands: Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, GE, Nokia, McDonalds, Google, Toyota, Intel, Disney. Notice anything?
#6: Avoid generic words
Using generic words in your business name will not differentiate you from your competition nor will it help you create an identity in the mind of your prospects.
Integrity Landscaping, Quality Irrigation, Custom Concrete and Precision Landscaping are all terrible names.
These generic words are meaningless to consumers. What does "precision landscaping" mean? Absolutely nothing.
#7: Don't use abbreviations in your company name
You are a small business, you don't have to act like corporate America. IBM stands for International Business Machines. UPS stands for United Parcel Service. Most people know this because years and years of advertising has driven it into our consciousness. You don't have the same advertising budget.
What does BDR Construction stand for? What about RJM Design? Who knows.
Would you be more likely to do business with CJH Gardens or with Christopher James Gardens? Consumers want to do business with real people. Skip the corporate abbreviations.
Naming your landscape company is the most important marketing decision you will make. It sets the table for your entire marketing strategy, from positioning to public relations to social media and everything in between. It's your identity. Choose wisely.
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