Friday, July 23, 2010

What's in a name?

When people start down the path towards creating a business, they obsess about the name.

While business names are important, they certainly are not the most critical aspect of developing and maintaining an effective brand.

Just the other day, my husband Lewis was cooking some Asian dish that required shrimp. Normally we would just go to Whole Foods for the shrimp since we believe they have the highest quality of seafood and meats. But since our newly renovated neighborhood "Signature Kroger" had just been completed, we thought we would give it a try and buy our shrimp there instead.

Well, the shrimp was not the freshest and as a result, the dish suffered.

What I found interesting was Lewis' comment. He said "you can put makeup on a pig and yet, it still is a pig."

What he really meant by this was that despite the multi-million dollar renovation, this Kroger was still the same Kroger we had before with regards to its offering of seafood and meats. The fact that it now had been named "Signature" was irrelevant since its offering did not match its promise.

The lesson here is that regardless of your name, are you delivering your brand promise?

For us, it meant that a "Signature Kroger" that now looked as fresh and new as our Whole Foods should also feature excellent fresh seafood.

We were wrong.

Or rather, Kroger is wrong. It appears that they are still selling the same seafood they did before the renovation.

This hurts their brand.

How can you apply this same lesson for your business and your brand?

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