Even your business’ name is a key part of niche marketing

January 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM Leave a comment


The name of a business is a key component of its marketing program. If well selected, the name will position the business to develop strong relationships with the market niche it needs to target for optimal success.

Recently, MedSpan assisted a client with naming a new business. As a provider of outpatient healthcare services, our client gathers referrals from hospitals and physicians, develops contracts with health plans, accountable care organizations and integrated delivery systems and, of course, delivers care to patients with a range of acute to chronic conditions. Our client offers different services to each group:

  • Referral sources: optimal outcomes available through a broad range of integrated services.
  • Payers: insightful data that document improvements in the quality indicators used to measure payer performance.
  • Patients: The convenience of multiple services available through multiple services available at one physical location and solutions to their healthcare challenges. 

To select the best name for the new business, MedSpan and our client first asked ‘What is the mission of the business’ name?’ Is it to:

  • Succinctly describe all of the services provided?
  • Succinctly describe all of the benefits provided?
  • Stand-out in a crowded provider market?

Our client decided to select a name that emphasized the benefits the business provides.  Describing the services provided would be a secondary priority, followed by differentiation.  Benefits would pique customer interest in the provider’s services.  Quality of care and documented improvements in outcomes would keep referrals and patients coming.

The team then considered whether to select the name with the broadest appeal or the name which most appealed to a specific niche, that is, payers, referral sources or patients.  The team decided to select a name most successful with a specific niche — payers.  A name that resonates with payers may enhance the ability to secure network contracts, which provides the foundations for securing referrals.

The client developed seven names to test.  Some were minor variations of one another, and others were completely different.  MedSpan tested the names through a series of 40 structured, one-on-one interviews with a variety of payers, providers and patients.  After considering the business concept and its benefits, respondents evaluated each name based on its ability to convey the nature of the business and its benefits as well as the degree to which the name positions the business as different from others.

The result? Two of the seven names clearly performed better than the others.  Across most market segments, each name best conveyed the nature of the business and its benefits.  Of the two names, our client selected among the two names the one that was more highly rated by its target market niche — payers.

Surprisingly, neither of the names most preferred by respondents met our client’s pre-study expectations or preferences among the seven tested names.  Both of the two client’s previously preferred names finished as least preferred.  A well-structured testing process enabled our client to focus their niche marketing program in the right direction from the start.  Sometimes in business, a “rose by any other name does not smell as sweet.”

Tweet your comments on this blog post to us @medspanresearch !

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Entry filed under: Niche marketing. Tags: , , , , .

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