What’s in a name

Names are special, our ancestors were very careful who they shared their names with, possession of someone’s name carried power. Names, thanks to history, culture and the way we are wired conjure up all manner of associations and meanings; they are a fundamental part of our identity.

In business it’s the same, a name may represent all the hard work that’s been put in to build a presence, a brand, a reputation, and as anyone who tries to start a business called Mcdonalds will tell you, it’s often jealously guarded.  But now we live in an online world we have to make our business visible, identifiable and accessible, in practise that’s through a search engine, which adds a new dimension.

We chose the company name years ago, “Adara Associates”,it meant nothing to anyone other than a crusty old sea dog who could remember celestial navigation; it gave us the freedom to do what we like. Over the years we’ve linked it with our tagline ‘the sales pipeline engineers” which succinctly and clearly describes to our target market what we do; there may have been the odd confused oilman but in general it’s worked remarkably well.

So when we first developed an alternative to the CRM’s that our clients disliked so much we thought carefully and in a moment of inspiration called it ‘The Adara Pipeliner’. “That’s great” we thought ”we’re cleverly communicating the manifestation of what we do, all packaged up in a hosted system.”

It turned out that although existing clients related to the name it didn’t work for people that didn’t know us,   nobody Googles “Pipeliner” if they need a better CRM, they type in “CRM”.

Obvious in hindsight!

We’d been reluctant to take on the CRM companies head to head as the whole sector is so (deservedly) unpopular but after a massive wave of development over the past year so many people told us that we had a real alternative, we realised we had to become more proactive and the name “Pipeliner” just wasn’t going to hack it.

We did some research on competitor positioning as well as use of search terms and were quite amazed by what we found, or rather the lack of it. Frequently the basics of SEO had been ignored and positioning was a variation of  “just another crm”

So, another round of drinks and deep thought and in a moment of inspiration came up with the name “AdaraCRM”. People who work with us say good things about Adara and we believe in our CRM, so it made sense to reflect that ownership and pride. Once bitten, twice shy, this time we did some market testing, Uh oh, folk liked the CRM tag and it made sense from an SEO perspective but it didn’t differentiate our offering clearly.

So, another round of drinks, and a serious discussion around the fundamentals. We’d developed a clean, coherent and powerful CRM that supported sales conversations. It worked the way that good sales people do. It supported a dialogue, pulled together the key content in the myriad of different ways of communicating that are available, and increasingly relevant, in today’s socially networked world.

What should we call a CRM that works conversationally?

Time for the “exactly what it says on the tin” moment.

Welcome to ConversationalCRM. We’ve built a new web site, tried to get a balance between being search-engine friendly and delivering a positive experience to visitors. If you look at  ConversationalCRM.com  you can be the judge of whether we’ve succeeded or not (either way we’d genuinely love to hear what you think!)

So what’s the moral of this rambling confession? Well, we think that in an online world it’s not what you’d like prospects to search for that’s important; it’s what they actually do that matters.

What they actually do can be readily understood using the plethora of tools out there; and you don’t have to be an SEO expert to use them.

Names and their associations matter and they have to relate to the terms people actually use, this is one instance (maybe the only one) where the customer really is always right.