Marketing & Promotions

What’s in a [Salon] Name?

A likeable salon name can make a powerful emotional connection with your clientele, which makes it easy to remember and generates buzz, says Alexandra Watkins, chief innovation officer of Eat My Words. “The more memorable your name and the more people talk about it, the less advertising you have to do,” she says.

  

A likeable salon name can make a powerful emotional connection with your clientele, which makes it easy to remember and generates buzz, says Alexandra Watkins, chief innovation officer of Eat My Words. “The more memorable your name and the more people talk about it, the less advertising you have to do,” she says.

Here’s some naming advice from Watkins:

> Naming your salon something that you can’t deliver on will backfire on you. There is a nail salon in San Francisco called Five Star Nails who has a Yelp rating of two and a half stars and horrible reviews. If your name promises a high-end experience, you need to live up to the name.

> Being a copycat won’t make you stand out in a sea of sameness. It seems like every city and town has a nail salon called Queen Nails, Rose Nails, Vogue Nails, Perfect Ten. These names are predictable and can never be trademarked because there are so many of them.

> Naming your nail salon after the street you are on limits you to that one location. If you’re Second Street Nails and you open another location on Valencia Street, you have to lose the name (or suffer the consequences of consumer confusion.) While you can always name your new salon another name, you lose the brand equity you’ve already built with your first shop.

Unless your nail salon name has a long legacy behind it, you can certainly change it. Business owners often have an inflated perspective of the equity in their name. A name change is a great excuse to do promotions and generate media attention. It’s like having an extreme makeover and can definitely give any business additional marketing opportunities.

Watkins recommends filtering any business name through the Eat My Words SMILE & SCRATCH Test, which is based on the philosophy that a name should make you smile, instead of scratch your head.

SMILE — qualities of a powerful name:

Simple: one easy-to-understand concept

Meaningful: your customers instantly “get it”

Imagery: visually evocative, creates a mental picture

Legs: carries the brand, lends itself to wordplay

Emotional: empowers, entertains, engages, etc.

SCRATCH it off the list if it has any of these deal-breakers:

Spelling-challenged: you have to tell people how to spell it

Copycat: similar to competitors’ names

Random: disconnected from the brand

Annoying: hidden meaning, forced

Tame: flat, uninspired, boring, non-emotional

Curse of knowledge: only insiders get it

Hard-to-pronounce: not obvious, relies on punctuation 

 

Keywords:   marketing/promotions     opening a new salon  

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