Posted On April 11th, 2013
Back in 1999, I was working for a company which was then called PCS Telemarketing, based in Slough. The company had used the name primarily because they were above another company (who were also their landlord) called PCS Marketing. It certainly helped make a small company seem much bigger and there were indeed some synergies between the 2. However, in 2000, we moved to a bigger premised by Slough Train Station and moved away from our old owners. We hired a marketing consultant who were going to help us come up with the new name. In the end, we ignored all of their solutions and came up with our own. I can't remember whose idea it was. The fact that the name was received so positively probably means a whole host of people have claimed the idea and I'm sure a similar number would have denied it had it gone done badly. To cut a very long story short, the company changed its name to Inkfish and rapidly grew and within a few years was acquired by one of their clients, Domestic & General for many millions of pounds. Not bad considering that when I'd started, we probably had about 50-60 people on a mezzanine floor above a warehouse on the Slough Trading Estate. How much of the success was down to the name is debatable. The answer is probably some but not as much as due to the leadership team of Andrew Pearce, Sue Marshall & Bill Dolling for whom I have a huge amount of respect. However, I have no doubt that the name had quite a significant amount of impact on the company's image because it enabled them to stand out. To the untrained eye, the call centre market seems homogeneous and it's a constant challenge for outsourced vendors to differentiate themselves. Inkfish had both an image and an operation which stood it and this is why they were so successful.
After such a great example of a name which worked well, here's one which is probably the worst I've ever heard'.'Trauma BPO'. Yes, I said 'Trauma BPO'. I was approached yesterday by them. I didn't go into too much detail with them but it was clear they were an Asian-based offshore outsourcer. This name goes against any unwritten rules about creating the name for an outsourced vendor. Let's be honest about the UK business buyers. They have a list of the things they like about potential vendors but on the list of list of things they don't like is 'anything which might make me look stupid'. Remember, that the person selecting which vendor to use is effectively putting his approval on the fact that this is a good company to deal with. He'd rather you missed your KPI's than cause an absolute trauma. I have to think that if you had a large selection of tender responses and were trying to get rid of you obvious 'poor-fits', then Trauma BPO might be the first on the reject list. the worst name for an outsourced call centre