Bus and Motor Coach Library

What's In A Name?

author – Brian Niddery (2002)

As it relates to your company name, it can mean a great deal!  The most successful market-oriented companies consider their company name to be their most valuable asset.  In fact, many consider it to be a more marketable commodity than the products or services that they sell.


If you are able to successfully market your company name and establish in your customer's mind the benefits that your company represents, then you are in fact selling every service that your company offers now and in the future. 

On the other hand, if you are trying to sell just one of many services that your company offers, lets say, passenger service from point A to B, exactly what benefit can you possibly sell to attract more customers?  Other than a low price, probably little else! 

Have you ever heard the phrase "Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak"!  It's an old selling axiom.  It means that you should sell the benefits of a product rather than trying to sell the product itself!

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the sight of a thick steak sizzling over the grille…the smell and sound of it over the flames…that juicy, tender, melt-in-your-mouth flavor!  Is your mouth watering yet? 
Isn't this a better image than simply a refrigerated hunk of raw meat lying behind the counter in some food store, with a price tag stuck into it?  

Using this same analogy, what are you selling?  Is it that raw refrigerated piece of meat or is it the flavor and taste of that juicy, tender steak sizzling over the BBQ. 

Unfortunately most companies often limit their marketing/promotional effort to some sort of price/rate schedule offering Point A to Point B service for X number of dollars.  This is like trying to sell a raw piece of meat. 

So then, where's the "sizzle" in selling passenger services? 

How about Safety? What if people perceived that your company had the safest vehicles on the road?  How about Reliability - what if people perceived that you had the most reliable vehicles on the road, and that you consistently provided on-time services?  Professionalism - what if people always commented on how smartly dressed your drivers are, and their outstanding courteous and friendly deportment?  Cleanliness - what if people found your vehicles, both inside and out, to be spotlessly clean every time - even those inside rubber seams around the windows.

If the traveling public in your market area believe that you have the safest, most reliable, most professional-like drivers, and the cleanest of clean vehicles, how important do you really think price from Point A to Point B is to these people?                          

You will find that consumers would happily pay a very fair price, often even a premium price to ride on your vehicles, and that they'll look forward to the privilege of using your service from not only from Point A to B, but every other service that you provide all the way to Point Z!

This is the difference between selling price, and the art of selling your company name and image.  However, there is one important point that we must make.  Selling the sizzle takes time and effort!  It doesn't generate an immediate return as price point advertising often can.

Rome was not built in a day; nor can your company name and image be built in a day.  You must decide which beneficial attributes would best represent your company, and begin building those attributes over a period of time.