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by Casey Neeley
August 25th, 2011

What’s In a Name?

Five letters in three names (all ending in an “E”) is supposed to tell you all about me—Katie Marie Hodge. While I enjoy the organization of a name that is truly symmetrical and even, I am excited to take a new name. In fact, when you see me at SEMA I will be sporting a new last name and a new spouse. Luckily my new last name is still five letters—O’Mara. Now I am sure you have some questions so let me try to answer them before you ask. Yes, I know I am going to sound Irish. No, I will not be offended if you call me Katie Hodge. Yes, I will hyphenate it for a while so you are not confused. And yes, I am excited to have a new name. Why? Because I have always thought my name was forgettable (and on a side note it is actually an adopted last name from generations ago so it has no ancestral connection to me). When I tell people my new last name they always light up and get excited, like they see it too. There is just something more exciting about that Irish name with an apostrophe.

 I guess it leaves me to wonder what a name really says about you and for that matter what your company’s name says about your work. Obviously you are not going to name your company, “Tint Trouble” or “Film Flops,” but what about your company’s name makes you stand out. Most importantly have you used your name to your advantage? Your shop’s name must be displayed. I can’t imagine going to a place of business and there being no identifying sign that I am there. You may laugh, but I have seen it. What about when a customer enters your shop? Do they see your name displayed inside? What about on your attire? Do you greet customers on the phone with the shop’s name?

Word of mouth is so important to our industry. Most companies see significant business from recommendations of past customers. If your customer can’t remember the company’s name how can they tell their friends to use your services.

So how do you make yourself stand out? Also, what made you choose your company’s name in the first place? Most companies have a story behind their name. Do you ever have the opportunity to explain the name to your customers? Maybe you have even considered getting the story printed for the wall of your shop. What better way to ensure people remember your name than to explain why you chose it in the first place. On that note, I promise a hot-off-the-press magazine to anyone that knows what my new last name will be when I see you in Memphis at the Tint-Off and Conference this September and in Las Vegas at SEMA in November.

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