It’s important to be recognized. Getting your name out there is not a quick and easy endeavor, but it is worthwhile, and a good way to demonstrate that is to consider supervillains.
I run a Dungeons and Dragons game every week, so I have some experience with what makes an impactful bad guy. It tends to be a bit awkward when the villain swoops in, brow furrowed, cloak billowing and dramatically announces himself only to have someone ask who he is. It’s a much better situation if those present know him, or at the very least have heard of him.
Not everyone can expect to be a household brand but just getting a name out there is far better than nothing. The difference that simply having heard a name before makes is tremendous. That small spark of recognition may not seem like much, but it causes a dramatic change in perception—captivating storytelling helps draw in your audience.
As an example, let’s take the Spiderman villain, Doctor Octopus. That’s a silly enough name, but most people will recognize it, it’ll elicit a mental image of a man with metal tentacles coming out of his back, and they won’t stop to think about how bizarre the name actually is. Even if you don’t know the character well enough to picture him, just having heard the name before, even in passing, is enough to divert your thoughts from how odd having on octopus as a doctor would be.
Now consider another iconic Spiderman villain: Big Wheel (I’m entirely serious, that exists and it’s just a man in a large wheel). It’s a name that most haven’t heard before, with good reason, and it’s not something that anyone is going to take seriously. Big Wheel is a bad name for a villain, there’s no question about it, but so is Doctor Octopus, yet it’s going to be received much better simply because we’ve all been more exposed to it—that’s the difference that being recognized makes.
It prompts people to make judgments based on merit, and a crazy man with robotic tentacle arms is rightfully menacing, rather than simply being dismissive of a somewhat silly name.
The same concept can easily be applied to a business. Your business probably isn’t going to have a name as goofy as a comic book villain, but you run a different sort of risk. If no one recognizes you, you might not be laughed at, but being ignored might be even worse, at least Big Wheel leaves an impression.
People are more receptive to things that they are familiar with. Even if they simply recognize a name from somewhere, with no knowledge of the company it represents, that’s a big improvement on having no recognition at all. That’s one of the many reasons why having a good marketing strategy is important.
Even something as simple as putting your name in front of prospective clients can go a long way. They likely won’t remember exactly who you are or any of the details about what you do, but just knowing your name is enough to separate you from the pack.
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