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What's in a name?


As I come across more and more people in my travels and I explain to them what I do I often get the question: "Where did you come up with the name SpaceAge for your company?” and “What does SpaceAge have to do with video production?”. The answer is simple but often leads to other questions and sometimes even unsolicited advice.

I thought of the name SpaceAge when I was in grade school and space exploration was a bigger deal than it appears to be now. The first Space Shuttles were being developed and launched and the idea of working for NASA was on a lot of kids minds. I decided back that any work I did would be attributed to SpaceAge!

When I started consulting for a living I naturally stuck with the name even though a few decades had passed and the love for NASA and our space program was not the same as it had been. SpaceAge Consulting was just second nature for me by this point and it is what I stuck with. As I have gotten more and more into AV production, however, I have had a bit of trouble with branding. SpaceAge doesn’t reference anything Audio or Video and Consulting doesn’t really speak of Production. Creating a logo has been an additional hassle as I try to bridge the gap between the name and what we do. I have added “An Audio-Visual Company” as part of the name but I am still stressing out over my logo. What can I create that would give an impression of vast space and convey the AV aspect of our work?

The slight ambiguity in the company name and my quest for an effective logo has led to a lot of advice on changing my name, after all in this industry most people simply use their personal names (Blah Blah Photography) or include the work production (Blah Blah Production) to make it plain as to what they do. But I won’t go that route; not simply out of a stubborn attachment to the name SpaceAge, which holds a lot of meaning for me, but because I think it is better in the long run to develop my name into something meaningful to others.

I am working on a Dell computer as I type this. 30 years ago Dell had nothing to do with computers but Michael Dell made the connection because of his work and his marketing. The word apple was not synonymous with technology but Apple, because of innovation and marketing, is a well known tech company. 25 years ago Amazon was a river in South America, now it is best known for convenient shopping and Prime, holding the hearts, and wallets, of millions of people… myself included. How did they achieve this notoriety? Marketing and marketing and innovation.

Want more examples? How about company names that became so well known that they became a verb? Google, Xerox, Twitter (ok, that last one is not a perfect example but you know what I’m talking about…)

So, what’s in a name? Is it more important to choose a name that immediately resonates with the people or to create a marketing plan behind your name to create the resonance? I think long lasting association is something created over time through exposure and familiarity with a product or service. Maybe we should concern ourselves more with the products and services we provide and the marketing we will put behind our products and services and spend less time and worry with the planning of the name? What do you think?

Also - All company names are owned by their respected companies and are not related to SpaceAge Consulting.

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