We live in a branded world. Every business is a brand. Your own name is now a brand in a celebrity-obsessed world of influencers, with your brand story updated every time you engage with social media. No one wants a bad name, either literally or aesthetically. It is something you have to live with, say and hear, many times a day, potentially for the rest of your life.
Your brand name is vitally important to the success of your business. Will a terrible name sink a fantastic product? No, but it will take longer for your fantastic product to get the attention it deserves and it may require some potentially expensive marketing to overcome the negative impression your unfortunate name created. An average, generic name will be lost in a crowd of ‘me too’ clones and it will take time and money to gain the brand recognition that leads to success.
A powerful, memorable name can create brand awareness by virtue of its sheer awesomeness. A name that stands out from the crowd is one that seems immediately familiar, maybe even cracks a smile. It gains media attention, generates word-of-mouth buzz and picks up interested, engaged consumers by the mere fact of its existence. Of course, what is being sold by this brand name also needs to be great – even a brilliant name cannot save a terrible or unnecessary product or service.
If anyone doubts the power of a good brand name, The Boring Company should make things abundantly clear. Does anyone really believe a drilling company called Commuter Hole or DrillTech could sell a million dollars of branded baseball caps in one month? Or make $5 million in 5 days selling ‘flamethrowers’ costing $500USD apiece.
Admittedly, The Boring Company was always going to get attention thanks to its founder Elon Musk, a charismatic billionaire revolutionising the automobile and space industries with Tesla and SpaceX (more brilliant brand names). Musk’s personal brand is starting to eclipse even his companies, with millions of devoted social media fans following his every move.
The Boring Company has not even begun its prime mission, which is to revolutionise transport by building underground tunnels quicker and cheaper than is currently possible. The company plans to build a tunnel parallel to a congested Los Angeles freeway to prove the concept before moving to massive inter-city tunnel projects.
Will The Boring Company succeed in its plan to get millions of people zooming through small underground tunnels rather than getting stuck in traffic or waiting for a delayed flight? No one really knows. But with a brand name this good, who really cares? The Boring Company could probably be financially successful just selling Boring merchandise. Money and adoration – witness the power of a good brand name.