How do you turn a family name into a brand?

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Oct 6, 2010

 How do you turn a family name into a brand?
If you´re any­thing like me, par­ent­hood (or grand­par­ent­hood) prob­a­bly has you reliv­ing many scenes from your own youth. Maybe you´re play­ing Can­dy­land and Uno again, or hid­ing and seek­ing until you´ve used every spot twice. Or you´re watch­ing the same Dis­ney movies until you could repeat them by memory!  Recent­ly, while putting in a Dis­ney movie for my kids , I took a sec­ond look at their very famil­iar brand: sim­ple, yet effec­tive. It must be one of the most wide­ly rec­og­nized sym­bols on earth, and yet 80 years ago, it was a sim­ple busi­ness start­ed by a sin­gle man. Walt Dis­ney built his empire around a vision: imag­i­na­tion, mag­ic, adven­ture, dar­ing heroes and des­per­ate vil­lains! The name has become a brand, and is one of the most wide­ly rec­og­nized names in the his­to­ry of enter­tain­ment. Yes, Dis­ney faces intense com­pe­ti­tion, but when a fam­i­ly sits down to watch a movie and see the Cas­tle logo, they all know what to expect: fam­i­ly friend­ly, dream­like, enter­tain­ing mag­ic! Many ser­vice busi­ness­es also start with a sin­gle per­son, and like Walt´s, the busi­ness name con­tains some part of the owner´s name: Nolan Pain­ing, Stohlman´s Cus­tom Cab­i­nets, Tony and Son Plumb­ing. A busi­ness own­er with a name like this should not con­sid­er chang­ing to a more gener­ic name, like ABC Paint­ing or Qual­i­ty Cab­i­nets. Instead, you should keep the name and focus on the brand and posi­tion­ing state­ment of the com­pa­ny. What is it that sets you apart from the com­pe­ti­tion? What makes you dif­fer­ent? Walt Dis­ney — and every oth­er suc­cess­ful sales or ser­vice com­pa­ny — has answered that one ques­tion: How are we dif­fer­ent?” Can you explain in one sen­tence how your com­pa­ny is unique?

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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