Another bad digital marketing mistake to avoid (if you can)

This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Digital Marketing Mistakes

I’ve already covered the worst marketing mistake you can make with your brand online a few weeks ago (using two different names for your brand), so I thought I’d ad another major digital marketing mistake to avoid. That is, if it is not too late for you.

It is a little too late for me to avoid this digital marketing mistake for my own brand Titan Interactive (operating since 2004).

What’s this other bad digital marketing mistake to avoid?

Using the same name as another, already established, brand

unrelated twin businessesIf your organisation is incorporated, then your lawyer or notary who help set you up likely did a check for you initially to see if your proposed business name was already in used in your market. I had asked my notary to check not just in Quebec, but across Canada. I should have asked for North American, and probably Europe…

Why? My business market is predominantly Quebec with some business across Canada and none in the USA or Europe. But when people search for my brand name online, Google and other sites don’t care so much for region – they’ll pull every possibility of a match even if it’s in Singapore or Lima, Peru.

In my own case, Titan is also the name of an out of home advertising network in the USA which at one time had a foothold in Canada. There is also Titan Web which does a lot of the same things I do, however they are located in Perth, Australia, quite literally on the other side of the globe from where I sit.

Similar names matter because one your brand starts producing and promoting content marketing initiatives, your name starts to circulate. It will not be limited to your desired geographic scope. Your content will reach where it pleases. The world really is getting smaller.

Local markets & SMBs

The worst cases however occur among very small businesses in local settings who never really had to worry if a similarly named business existed in the second town over, up until a few years ago that is.

I’ve done a census of local businesses in the towns around where I live this past summer and have identified easily 3% of business had a twin nearby. A twin both in name and often times in the same industry. A twin which sometimes did everything right for SEO and social listings while your business did not: i.e. a twin which is stealing your business.

Here are some examples. In 2 towns next to each other are two unrelated businesses named Duralsco. Duralsco is a construction company building homes and small apartment buildings. “Duralsco Couvres-Planchés” is a flooring store. The later has taken the time to set up their name and account across most search sites, reviews websites and social media while the first did not. If you look for the first, you may find it, but you will definitely find the second. This gets confusing for consumers – mostly when the industries are similar.

A local car dealership here is called “Duval Mazda”. They did not do their homework where showing up online is concerned. When you look for them by name, what you find first on google is actually “Duval Mazda of the Avenues” which is located in Jacksonville, Florida. This problem won’t occur on other sites like Yellow Pages because of its limited regional scope.

The worst situation I found was a candy shop here called “Chez Pain D’Épice” (At Gingerbread’s) whose slogan is “La Maison du Bonbon”. Online they’ve mostly used their slogan over their own brand name which makes it complicated to find them. Once you start looking for their slogan, that’s where you realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. This one is on the South Shore of Montreal. You’ll easily find other “La Maison du Bonbon” around greater Montreal and Quebec, but also in Forest Park, Illinois (kinda far to go for a lolypop).

Too late to fix your digital marketing mistake?

Is your business or brand name similar to another’s? It’s really never too late to change. In 2014 ING Direct rebranded itself into Tangerine after many years of operating here in Canada. The question is, is your “twins” stealing business from you and how far are you willing to go to address the situation.

So if you’re considering creating a new business, don’t only search locally for similar names, search everywhere. You never know who’ll pull attention away from you.

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