For the love of branding, stop using this word in your business name.


I’m going to pick on the word Roc only because as someone that lives in Rochester, NY I see this conundrum everywhere. Stop using the closest airport abbreviation in your company name. 

I see hairdressers, dessert shops, ice cream, restaurants even professional services think that by putting the location and aggravating it and placing it at the end of their business name is cool, so you have something like – Chiropractic Roc, or Living Well Roc and so on. I know you’ve all seen them.

The exception: Using the word in front of the business works well like, Rochester Health offices – because you’re spelling the whole word not abbreviating it, and there is a good chance of more finding you through SEO (depending on your industry) But long term it might not if you’re planning on expanding into other cities. Your name should align with your strategic long-term business goals.

  • For example, if you choose to open up an office in Syracuse you can then transform the name and identity in that location to Syracuse Health Offices. Regardless, something too generic as Health Office is not a strong name because they will never be able to trademark it because it is too generic.

Bottom line: Adding the word Roc to your business name does not make you sound cool, nor does it entice your audience to want to buy from you, It’s a given where you are and you never want to abbreviate a location in a business name.

Here are a few things to consider:

Why limit your potential? Are you only going to serve in Roc or the location your business resides in? If so, more power to you. But the majority of people want to grow a business to its fullest potential – why play small?  By using the word Roc it limits the growth of your business.

It’s a given. People know your business is located in Roc because our city is small. We don’t live in NYC where there’s a ton of little cities all around and people are confused because there are so many.

You don’t need three words in your name. People don’t remember more than 1-2 words in a business name. What usually happens is it gets shortened to RRH or they drop the third or second word, so when you’re thinking of the perfect name use concepts that are centered around these three things:

  • Your brand story, For example, my business name, Novus. For me when I started my business it was about refreshing my personal life and professional, Novus is Latin for new fresh a new start that is what I have given myself and it is also what I give my clients that seek a rebrand or branding. See, it fits – it tells a story… even if I’m not having to explain it.

Allude to your advantage or benefit. What are your unique offer or value only your business can offer and concept your name around that?  An example of this would be, RoadRunner or Greenlight.

Your audience. If you are niching in a certain industry you will want a name that will evoke emotion. An example of this is when I worked for a company to rebrand to the name Dejabrew. Why did we use this word? Because they are niching in the brewery industry. If they were niching in the tech industry it wouldn’t make much sense right?

How do you want to be known? In terms of geographic location. Do you only want to focus on the city you live in, the country or the world?

  • There are different types of names. They range from coined (Kodak, Xerox) to associative descriptive (DieHard, RoadRunner) to whimsical (Apple, BlackBerry) [including invented whimsical (Squidoo)] to generic descriptive (engines, lab equipment). Each has its place and which is used depends on the type of brand, its market position and its intended longevity among other considerations. From Brand Strategy Insider

Changing your name costs money.

It costs money and time to refile your LLC or Inc, to redo the logo, to redo signage, potential loss of SEO rankings, website changes, menu changes, business card changes.

That is why is it so important to think critically about your business name, now and invest in a brand strategy to understand how to best position your brand, to understand the emotional and tangible benefits you give to your customer to choose the perfect name that builds of your brand strategy.

Do you have questions? Pop them below and I will answer them!