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What’s in a Name? Delivering Your Brand


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

–William Shakespeare

Though I doubt he meant it in that way, ol’ Bill Shakespeare may have been history’s first marketing branding guru.

His famous couplet from “Romeo and Juliet” alighted upon the truth that people respond more favorably to something when its name is pleasant or familiar. Would roses really have become the go-to bloom for romance if they were called strunkbiddles instead?


Coming up with the right title

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

One of the most exciting things we get to do from time to time here at Coles Marketing is help launch a new brand from the ground up – including coming up with a company name, tagline, logo, vision and mission statements, etc. We’ve done it for multi-billion-dollar international companies, hometown mom-and-pop stores and individual products and services.

It’s an exhilarating process, but also a daunting one. The key challenges are finding a company name that’s catchy, accurately describes what they’re all about, and — here’s the rub — hasn’t been taken yet.

Recently while brainstorming ideas for a new client, I came up with a name I thought was just perfect — and even better, the business owner loved it, too! But there were several hurdles we had to jump before locking it in.


What a name may cost

These obstacles included:

  • Checking the proposed name against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see if anyone had already filed for use of the name. No one had, so we were good.
  • Searching a Web-hosting service like GoDaddy.com to find out if the preferred URL address — e.g., www.thesitename.com – was available. It was!
  • Conducting a detailed Web search to see if another business was using the name.

Unfortunately, we failed this third test. Even though the other company hadn’t trademarked the name, was using a different website address and was located in another state, it was too similar in name and mission to take the risk of a lawsuit.

As the Wall Street Journal and others have noted, start-up companies often face legal troubles in selecting a moniker — from simple cease-and-desist letters from attorneys to long, protracted court cases that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. This is an area where you really want to be on solid ground.

With so many pleasing combinations of existing words already taken, more and more it’s become common to just invent your own word — think of Zillow.com, Twitter, Verizon, Cialis and many more. Hey, once upon a time “Google” was total gibberish, but now it’s one of the most valuable brands in the world.


Is your label one that sticks?

Martin Zwilling has some good advice over at Business Insider on coming up with a killer name for your company. It should be unique and unforgettable — “stickiness” is the trait you’re looking for — easy to say and spell, and offer some kind of clue to what goods or services you offer.

Also check out this article from Entrepreneur.com on things to avoid when naming your business or product. Among the best advice is avoiding names that tie you down to a particular geographic location, which can hurt when the company starts growing. That’s part of the reason Kentucky Fried Chicken is now just KFC.

Looking to give your brand extra “stickiness?” The Coles Marketing team can help!


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Categories: 2014 November Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , ,

Content Creation: Is Less Still More?

Coles Marketing Less is More

No matter what your vocation, from Hollywood actor to marketing executive, you’ve no doubt heard the advice that “less is more.” The phrase, first attributed to poet Robert Browning, has evolved into an almost universally-accepted truth

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

that audiences appreciate a simple, subtle presentation over a loud, brash one.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in marketing and websites, where we’re constantly being told people don’t want to see a wall of text on a homepage, or wade through tons of content before getting to the information they came for.


Simplify and streamline

Jason DeMers at Forbes sums it up well: “We’re faced with increasing evidence, statistics, and research findings indicating that consumers are tired of being bombarded with extraneous information, which distracts rather than assists them in their buying decisions.”

In his article focusing on the marketing success of Apple, DeMers argues consumers want us to simplify the decision-making process. The best way to do this is by giving them the information they need to know — and leaving out the rest.

He also includes some salient data, like only 16 percent of website visitors read every word on a page, and the average American sees anywhere from 250 to several thousand ads or marketing messages every day!


Less>more? Still?

But is “less is more” really the right approach for EVERY circumstance and outreach platform?

After all, the great movement in marketing these days is “brand journalism,” in which companies bypass traditional media and tell stories directly to the audience. Also called content marketing, the goal here is not to just sell, but to provide useful and/or entertaining information that will lead them back to the company’s products and services.

For instance, one of the things we often do at Coles Marketing is create articles for a client’s website or newsletter, such as gardening tips or planning for the new Medicare investment tax. In this case, a well-researched column of 500-600 words, including attractive photos and useful links, would seem to fall under the definition of “more is more.”


Spare on top, thicker below

And in some audience engagements, people really do want more information than a superficial outline. Medical care and financial investment are two areas that immediately spring to mind.

If you were looking for an OB/GYN or someone to help you plan for retirement, who would you choose: someone with very vague rah-rah type of content on their website and messaging, or a company or organization that demonstrated its deep knowledge base?

Also, Google’s latest algorithms favor lots of subheadings and links, so more content is often better for SEO purposes.

Our take is your initial engagement with an audience should be simple and direct, but give them a pathway to discover more in-depth information about who your company is and what you do. The strategy should be like male-pattern baldness — spare on top, but thicker below.

For example, we recently created an entire new website for a healthcare provider client. Their homepage and navigation are models of elegant simplicity. But you can also go deeper into the subpages and find a wealth of knowledge about various medical conditions.

So in short: give them less, but offer them more. And Coles Marketing can help!


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Categories: 2014 September Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Google+ in the Wake of Authorship Demise


It’s the end of Google Authorship as we know it … or knew it. On Aug. 28, Google’s John Mueller posted, “Unfortunately, we’ve observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results.

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.”

As Forbes contributor John Rampton noted in his article, there were two main reasons for the death of authorship. One was low adoption rates by webmaster and authors. The other was authorship provided low value for searchers. Could Google+ be next on the chopping block?


Don’t downplay your Google+ profile

True, Google+ has nowhere near the ubiquity of Facebook or Twitter in terms of social media popularity. That could lead companies to dismiss Google+ because it isn’t where their customers are.

And that could be a huge mistake.

In February 2014, the New York Times reported 300 million people use Google+ and its affiliated apps each month. In her article, Business News Daily Assistant Editor Nicole Fallon said an active, complete Google+ business profile can really boost your search rankings.

With the right Google+ approach, you might even see better results than paid advertisements, said Phil Penton, president of Social Integration.


Boost your business presence

“It’s not about getting people to go to Google+,” Penton said. “Google uses those posts in other Google properties. If you do everything correctly, that Google+ post will show up in search. There are people searching for your business or industry, and [those posts] will come up, which is borderline free advertising for your business.”

Here are some tips to make the most of your organization’s Google+ presence:

  • Complete your profile. Your profile should be as complete as possible to draw relevance to your profile and the services your business offers.
  • Encourage customer reviews. Ask for reviews whenever possible, as it will benefit your SEO in the long run. If you get negative reviews, make sure to respond to them.
  • Use Circles and Hangouts. These features can help your company appeal to a targeted audience and establish brand authority. Content you post is included in the Google search results when any member of your Circle searches keywords relevant to your content. And many companies use Hangouts, a video chat service, for announcements, webinars and more.
  • Set up connected Google+ pages. Businesses establish credibility by linking their Google+ profiles with Google products like Maps and Google+ Local. “Any time you get a review or update photos, they will show up on Google Maps. The [profiles] that have the most up-to-date information do well,” Penton said.


We still live in a Google world

Even with the demise of Google Authorship, Google+ is still a goldmine for SEO. “The data Google is mining from conversations on the network gives them unprecedented knowledge of your value and the market that is likely to be interested in your goods and services,” said Janet Fouts in her Business 2 Community article.

Google+ may be more relevant than ever for brand and content marketers. It’s part of the Google algorithm. And the SEO value your content will get by being posted to Google+ shows it is more than just a social profile.

“Google+ is Google’s product,” said Ronn Torossian, CEO and founder of 5WPR. “Since we’re all marketers living in Google’s world, we should make a strong effort in delivering content to the platform.”

Have questions about Google+ and how to make it work for your business? Contact Coles Marketing today!


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Categories: 2014 September Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,