Friday, June 11, 2010

Internet and Social Media? Get a Great Name


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
" -  Juliet from Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

What's in a name? Most people would say, "Not much." But in these days of Social Media and with how the Internet is coming to dominate business, then what is in a name means a whole heck-of-a-lot.


Today, I want to talk about how having a unique name is critical to smart marketing for you. And how you will need a unique name if you want to have any hope of creating a buzz.

And this is not only in Japan, but all around the world. Having a great name for yourself for your business, product, service, or Internet idea is critical for success; especially in this day when people are actively searching for a special topic or item.

Take the example of a blog. The other day, a friend of mine, who is not Internet savvy at all, told me that he was thinking of a name for an online television show that he wanted to begin and he called me to ask me if his idea for a name for the program was good. The program was about interviewing foreign businessmen in Japan, in English, about doing business in Japan.

My friend seemed very pleased with the title he thought up for the TV show. It was, Tokyo Exchange.

Sounds like a typical business interview on your typical terrestrial TV station, right? Sure. It does to me. Now just think about how poorly terrestrial TV is doing. Do you want your business to emulate them? I sure hope not.

I told him that this was very old-fashioned thinking and that Tokyo Exchange was a terrible name... Can you imagine what people will think when they see a, er, "catchy name" or press release that says "Tokyo Exchange"? When someone hears this, the first thing that will pop into their mind will be the Tokyo Stock Market.

If you do a Google search on Tokyo Exchange, then you will get 25,400,000 results.

Now think about this for a moment. If you do, you will realize why this kind of name has to be one of the worst ideas a person could have. My friend is going to do an online TV show on a small Internet TV station that few have ever heard of. Now, if someone like you or me want to find his show by doing an Internet search, we would enter Tokyo Exchange in the search engine.

Now, also consider just how many tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of people per day search for financial information concerning the Tokyo Stock Exchange... How in the world will anyone find my friend's online TV show? They won't.

The resulting Google search page that shows my friend's TV show will probably not be even in the first 100 pages... It probably wouldn't hit the first 1,000 pages. And, as you know from your own personal experience, if you do a Google search and the result that you are looking for does not show up in the first page - maybe the first 2 or 3 pages - then you'll stop looking.

I know that if it doesn't show up in the first five on page one, I rarely search farther.

My friend would be better off with a name like "ZZXZ Dorky Tokyo." I'd bet they'd show up on the first page of an Internet search with a name like that.

Of course, I'm not saying that ZZXZ Dorky Tokyo is a great name. But it is a heck of a lot better than Tokyo Exchange.

To prove to you that I know what I'm talking about here, think about my name. My name is Mike Rogers. Mike Rogers is a very common (boring) name. If I do a Google search on Mike Rogers, I find a US congress-critter; a K-1 fighter; a professional hockey player; and a zillion others.

But Mike Rogers is a western name and I live in Japan. Ah! A unique name: Mike in Tokyo Rogers.

Now, let me brag to prove to you that I do know what I am talking about here. If you do a Google search of my name; "Mike in Tokyo Rogers", you'll find me #1 on a search. If you search "Mike in Tokyo" (without knowing my last name) you will find me #1. If you search merely "Mike Tokyo" I show up in the top 3.

Now that is a useful and killer name!

So it doesn't matter now what I do. Whether it is Twitter, Pick, blogging, U-Stream or any Internet Social Media or promotion or marketing. I always use the name "Mike in Tokyo Rogers."

So, before you decide on what name you will use, do Google searches. Use your imagination and find something unique. Use your middle name or find a new and cool moniker.

Make and use a name like this and people will find you.... If you don't, you or your service will be just like one of the millions of pieces of paper on the floor at the end of the trading day at the Tokyo Exchange; lost in the shuffle and headed into the trash.

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1 comment:

Vanessa said...

Hello Mike Rogers,

I saw your blog from google. Just wondered if you knew of any popular online TV networks in japan who are looking for foreign shows.

Thank you.