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I'm an incorporated freelancer with a company name that is very hard for Westerners to pronounce, and most of my prospects are in the West. I know this based on hearing a lot of recruiters and others try to pronounce or spell my company's name. This was confirmed when I ran a survey in which I read "The name of the website is (my domain name)" and none of the 50+ respondents could spell it properly. So I am renaming my company and trying to narrow down from three possible name ideas. This could be a long process involving analytics with several online ads because I want to pick the most effective name. It won't be - and hasn't been - an immediate decision.

Currently, I am prospecting for new clients via email using an email address on another domain I bought, which is keyword-based and most likely not the final name. (Edit: Most of these prospects have never heard of me before.) Here's the format of my email signature:

Regards,
David (last name)
Owner & User Experience Designer, (Official company name)
(official company name's website) | (website corresponding to this email address)

If you were doing a rebrand of your company and the new company name wasn't final, how would you approach prospecting - both in the initial contact email and when you're talking with the prospect?

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    Finalize the new name. – Scott Feb 5 '14 at 18:15
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    I'd have to agree with Scott. While you're in this chicken-or-the-egg-first scenario over a name and its effectiveness, it's going to distract you from what your real goal should be. The name is a perk. What you really need to get across to your prospects is why they should spend money with you. Your business could be named Mr. Mytzlplk Inc or Rumplestiltzkin Company for all they care... what do you have to sell that they want to buy??? Focus on that. – Xavier J Feb 5 '14 at 18:32
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    How can finalizing a name take weeks or months? Trademark searches? To do things properly you should have a solid business name before contacting anyone. Clients tend to stay away from transitional companies or companies who don't seem "together". Not having a business name would certainly fall into the latter. The personal income issue is another matter. – Scott Feb 6 '14 at 2:13
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    Geez! I'll have to agree with Scott's additional comment. In short - this name issue, DON'T get stuck on it. You are experiencing 'paralysis by analysis'. If you're that driven to feel out the perfect name over time, USE YOUR OWN NAME until you figure it out. But by goodness, don't sit around and leave money on the table. If it has to be David (Smith, Washington, Johnson, Adams, Lincoln) Consulting for now, then that's it. You can always redirect the internet traffic later; that's part of why the domain name system was created in the first place. – Xavier J Feb 6 '14 at 2:36
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    David, it's always much easier to market things later "Check out our new web site!" Or "David XXXXX is now part of Company X!" Than it is to try and practice business as some unnamed entity. Perfect opportunity for sales. – Scott Feb 7 '14 at 1:28
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Use the company name your considering, its an effective strategy to determine if you like the new brand in action. Provided that the service or product is satisfactory, customer base ought to hold steady. If the test brand is not going to work out it's essential to promote the finalized brand like crazy to make sure clients are crystal clear about the transition. Live test marketing are "mini-launches" usually focused in limited target areas, its a essential step before any large scale Brand launch occurs.

  • I'd add to this: Some states allow you to reserve an LLC name or a trading as name to make sure that no one steals the name you're considering while you're testing it. – David Aug 27 '14 at 16:02

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