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Why the Beatles destroyed this band

Why the Beatles destroyed this band

June 19, 2016

Pop quiz. Who were Johnny and the Moondogs?

I'll give you a hint. They performed Yellow Submarine, A Day in the Life, Blackbird and Strawberry Fields Forever.

Got it?

The Beatles. Ok, I'll admit, that was a bit of a trick question. Read on.

In the late 1950's John Lennon and his band, Johnny and the Moondogs, were having a tough go. They weren't getting auditions, they didn't have much of a reputation and no one seemed to even like them. Then they made one small move which changed everything. They called themselves The Beatles (because they were a "beat band") and well, the rest is history.

This is not a music history lesson.

So here's why it matters. It's about names. It's about your brand. It's about your bottom line. 

Mark Twain once wrote that, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

In business, having the right name isn't just a nice idea, it's absolutely essential to your company's success. In fact, many companies spend millions of dollar just researching and developing names. It's that important. The right name can almost sell your product for you. It can grab your customer's attention, tell them who you are, what you have to offer, and what's different about it- all in a word or two! It differentiates you from everyone else on the market. The right name can literally make it or break it.

Working with David Lokker the owner of Landsharks is fun and inspiring. His company Landsharks is an outdoor apparel store and has grown every single year for the last 26 years. That’s amazing, they clearly do a lot of things right and have a fantastic culture. But what has definitely made a huge impact on their growth is their memorable, "brandable" company name.

Imagine if Lady Gaga went by her given name, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. I don't think she would have the same buzz. Do you?

Discover JK Rowling's secrets to creating compelling, lovable names. PLUS get Jon's Top 10 1/2 Harry Potter Name Insights. 

Learn JK Rowling's Secrets Now!


Let's face it.

You're not Coca Cola or Apple with billions of dollars to spare for research and marketing. But that's ok. You don't need big money to create a powerful name. 

But here's the bottom line: developing a good name is a worthwhile investment because it turns your company into a brand who can charge a premium.

See, I frequently hear business owners complaining. "Jon, it's not fair! Our product is just as good as theirs, but they can charge more because everybody know about them!" And the truth is that they're https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/p2bq8B9Saw98JI21OGYUN76P88-0rfnTa_GG98gZ_rznu8wX_5xPeMK4umrwAie4GHsCPpJHcBOq_FEzpUJ7I6XQJtx46E11BA0IpwyOB-TdRyD514vUURE6D7Mk8_uRM03ZyrtjaN481BgebqcN=s0-d-e1-ft#https://d1yoaun8syyxxt.cloudfront.net/brandlaunch-eaf2b855-0716-4a6d-b4eb-8021bcf90286-v2right. Companies with a good name and subsequently a compelling brand can charge a premium, and people will pay it! Take Blendtec. Their blenders cost $400- $600 versus a regular "no name" blender which can cost $30- $100. Why? It's not because they are the absolute best blenders on the market. It's because they are a brand name.

I was able to sell out of one of my companies, Lumpy Mail, largely due to the fact that it had such a unique, memorable name. I didn't realize it at the time, (in fact, I didn't even like the name in the beginning!) but coming up with a strong, catchy name turned my company into a valuable asset.

Now, don't panic. You don't have to rename your entire company. It's certainly possible as Nissan showed us in the 1980's when they changed their name from Datsun. But it cost them $30 million to do it. Not so simple, and probably not so practical or even necessary for you.

So here's the one super-simple naming hack that can transform your company. It will enable you to cash in on all of the benefits of a good name without having to completely reinvent yourself.

Brand your products and services.  

Instead of selling chopped and peeled carrots, sell "baby carrots". Instead of selling mattress padding, sell "memory foam". Instead ofhttps://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/PhHipOm-AbczAGfv4422HoUVUhuJpNppvUS3mMdBph4ZmyC_JD8DNF_11h3NbtHa_EyeZP6wjOYXZfnMtCbWRSgwPVlgzgItGAxPt49X1Dh5f2RGkoPp09DgBdGDaeOb_0JkfyO5aWxcFV3nGKix=s0-d-e1-ft#https://d1yoaun8syyxxt.cloudfront.net/brandlaunch-925511bd-2da9-47df-bf9d-e18d5a5bbece-v2selling an energy drink, sell "Gatorade with electrolytes" (whatever those are...)

We at Brand Launcher have two very special products: sales and marketing and operational improvements. Boring! So we named the products and turned them into integral parts of our brand. We actually sell Vendor to Expert and Freedom Teams & Systems.

So how do you come up with the perfect name?

Follow these 5 steps to create a name that sells:

  1. Allow yourself to dream! Do free association, draw, go for a walk, enlist your business coach. Brainstorming requires time and creative space.
  2. Write down your ideas, good and bad, as you are brainstorming. You will want to refer back to this list.
  3. Whittle the list down to your favorites. Allow the best brand to emerge.
  4. Do your research to make sure the name isn’t easily mispronounced, translates well and will not be deemed offensive in a different language or setting.
  5. Sleep on it. Don’t make a final decision without giving yourself some time. 

Discover JK Rowling's secrets to creating compelling, lovable names. PLUS get Jon's Top 10 1/2 Harry Potter Name Insights.

Learn JK Rowling's Secrets Now!


Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,

Jon Goldman