Archive for the ‘Positioning’ Category

When a nickname becomes the name

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So you’ve been in business for quite some time now and you’ve got an avid fan base of customers. So much so that you’ve been given a nickname. It is very endearing to be given a nickname from a group that you associate with. You have become more than just a friend to this group. You are in their inner circle of trusted friends. You are now affectionately known and referred to by this nickname.

But, when does the nickname become your identity that it takes over you name. When you meet someone who knows you but you do not know them and they refer to you by your nickname, only then does your nickname become your name. Only then can you begin to consider a name change. Only then can you introduce yourself to others by your nickname.

Recently, two companies moved to be known by their nickname – The Shack and The Hut. Legally, neither company changed their corporate name. And Pizza Hut has since backed off from implementing the name change.  Radio Shack, a.k.a. The Shack, however, prefers to be referred to by their nickname now.

The Shack

The Shack

When a company succumbs to a name change given by their most loyal customers, they are forcing their coolness onto their entire customer base. I have shopped at both companies, but neither company has endeared me enough to give them a nickname. To me they will be known as Radio Shack and Pizza Hut.

The Hut

The Hut

The better solution, for which I think Pizza Hut learned, is to endear yourself to the close group of friends that gave you the nickname in the first place.  Give them a special place in your business just for them. These are your brand ambassadors.These are the customers that will move your other customers into your inner circle. Continue to give them the reasons to promote your nickname.

Besides, nicknames only really mean something to your inner circle of friends. Noone outside your inner circle will understand the meaning.  The nickname won’t stand for anything. You will have to earn the trust all over again that you made with your given name.

Radio Shack thinks they can make the transition with their tagline: Our friends call us The Shack. Change your name to The Shack and you lose me as a customer. You are no longer in my top-of-mind. I guess I’m not your friend.


Techville rises from Middle Tennessee

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Nashville Technology Council broke ground on Techville today, according to the company press release.  I find this most interesting as cities and states position themselves as destinations for particular industries.

I would bet that most people would think of Nashville as the hub for Music or Healthcare. And if you asked which cities are the tech beds of the U.S., you would surely see Silicone Valley and Seattle on the list. Other cities might include Salt Lake City (maybe a bit biased as this author currently lives there),  New York, Boston or Austin, TX.

But Nashville?

Nashville Technology Council's site

Nashville Technology Council's site

According to the Techville web site,, Nashville boasts quite a roster of technology companies. The map displays 158 companies and the online site has 327 companies represented. The Nashville Technology Council is going to great lengths to position itself among the top locations for technology companies. Techville is one element that is on target for gaining awareness of this industry for Nashville.