Should I Use My Niche Service In My Business Name?

female business owner confused

Recently, I viewed an advertisement for a company named “The Drain Guys.” What caught my attention was their tagline, positioned right below their logo: “We Do More Than Just Drains!” But there wasn’t any additional space to say what else they do or pictures conveying what else they may do.

Even the drain part was ambiguous in the ad. Sink drains or like drains in your yard? I assumed it was a plumbing company, which after a look at their website, yes, it was a plumbing company. They also had a very nice website and looked like they put a lot of effort into their marketing.

This observation got me thinking about something I see chiefly among local service businesses. A business owner will start with a defined service offering and use it in their official business name. A few examples off the top of my head:

  • A lawyer whose practice area is mentioned in their business name, yet they handle other legal areas too.

  • Pet grooming or pet stores with “Dog” or “Cat” in their name, when they have expanded to serving both.

  • Companies with “lawn care” in their name that also advertise for hardscaping projects like patios or even pour concrete.

  • Marketing Companies are guilty as well. Initially focusing on web design, they expand over time to run advertising campaigns, essentially operating as full-scale digital marketing agencies, but still have “Web Design” in their name.

Opting for a niche name is not “wrong.” Niching your business services and naming it in that manner is a strategy many business folks advocate for today. And it works, but will it always work?

The business expansion element among local businesses may be traced back to customer requests about additional services, leading to a larger service portfolio as new revenue streams.

It could stem from an overestimation of the demand for their niche service in the local area, where an expansion of services is needed to sustain the business.

The intention of this writing is not to discourage you from choosing a niche name for your business. It’s intention is to get you to pause and reflect. A decade from now, you might not want your marketing efforts and advertising space primarily conveying the message that, while your business name suggests one thing, you also do another thing.

While this naming strategy is not the end of the world and a business can still thrive (I will note that it looked liked The Drain Guys were doing very well) , it’s an important consideration for those just starting out to sit back and ponder for a second.

Imagine, ten years down the line, having your tagline essentially communicate, “Hey, yes, our name is X, but check this out—we do Y and Z too!”

Although many people logically understand this concept, there’s still that lizard brain and subconscious element.

Viewers of your advertising may subconsciously ask questions like “He’s called the drain guy, but he wants to install a tankless water heater?” or “Her law firm is named Jones Family Law, but she wants to handle my personal injury or criminal case?”

There’s also levels to this. Personally, would I let a business with the name “The Drain Guys” install my water heater? I’d take that bet and feel good about it. Would I let a Law Firm named “Jones Family Law” handle a personal injury case for me or a relative? Absolutely not. It’s not something I would even consider.

So it’s not always black and white in the mind of the consumer and their life experiences will play a role as to how it’s perceived.

This post isn’t meant to question the abilities of businesses who do this, but only to highlight the importance of thinking into the future when coming up with names for your business. It’s about ensuring your business name can grow with you, your services, and avoid possible disconnect between your name and what you offer.

To answer the question: I’m not saying yes or no. Just think about it for a minute. If your market is big enough and you’re dedicated to that niche, do it. If you feel like you may be cornering yourself in a bit too much, come up with some alternate names.

Want to talk about it? You can always schedule a free call with us and we can chop it up.

William S. Campbell

With 15 years of marketing experience, William S. Campbell crafts effective and tailored strategies to help businesses succeed.

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