A question of Business Name.

Discussion in 'S7 Group' started by Marc Dobson, 11 November 2020.

  1. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    I'm hoping that the collective might be able to help with a dilemma that I'm currently facing. As some of you already know, my day job is producing 7mm and 1/32 models in both kit and RTR form. A number of my customers have said, recently, that the name of my company name doesn't reflect the range of products that we produce. Also I have found out recently that there is another company operating with a similar name, selling second hand railways on a well known auction site.

    The company name is currently Furness Railway Wagon Co/Pre-Grouping Railways. The Furness Railway Wagon Co was where I started 21 years ago. I have been trying to shed the Furness railway part for a few years now. Mainly because "I don't do Furness, its to far north!" Even through there is a big picture of a Cornish china clay wagon on our show banner. I have attached a link to our website. Pre-grouping Railways From Furness Railway Wagon Company

    So my questions are:
    1. Should I change the name of the company to better reflect the nature of the range and what is in in the pipeline?
    2. If yes has anyone got any suggestions to what I should change it too?
    Len Cattley, daifly and Dog Star like this.
  2. DavidB

    DavidB Active Member

    As you have dropped the focus on Furness wagons, it makes sense to drop 'Furness' from the name. Pre-Grouping Railway Wagon Company as a name says just what you do.
    Marc Dobson likes this.
  3. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    And thereby hangs the concern for your current range includes locomotives. How broad is your current range? How broad do you expect the range to become?

    For example:-
    * wagons... ;
    * coaches... NPCS... departmental... ;
    * motive power;

    * pre-1923... ;
    * 1923 - 1948... ;
    * post 1948 until when?

    There is nothing to stop the Furness Wagon Company having more than one trading name although you may find that using several trading names and several web-sites requires more administrative effort than you wish to expend.

    regards, Graham
    Marc Dobson and daifly like this.
  4. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Since you produce an eclectic mix of railway-related products in different scales, you need a name that is not product or scale specific, so avoid 'wagon' etc. and stick to a simple, descriptive and, hopefully, memorable name such as 'Marc Dobson Products'.
    'JLTRT' is not in current use but is probably best avoided!
  5. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    Pre23 was one of the offerings. But changing it slightly to Pre23 railways?

  6. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    But you also have scenic materials and stock which ran considerably after 1923 so are still, potentially scoring an own-goal.
    Marc Dobson likes this.
  7. NewportRod

    NewportRod Active Member

    Top Marc Models?
  8. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    I like it. A nice play on words.

    Allen M likes this.
  9. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Top Marc would not be a good name if you are trying to present any sort of quality image. Top Marc sounds like a dodgy car dealer. A trading name needs to be memorable and, these days, easy to google without hundreds of spurious matches. You are in Furness so I don't see a problem with the Furness part of your existing name, maybe lose the 'Railway Wagon' part because it can read as wagons belonging to the Furness Railway rather than a Railway Wagon Co based in Furness. So maybe Furness Models, Furness Model Foundry, Furness Model Works. Or something localish related, perhaps Redstone Models (ref. red sandstone at Furness Abbey etc, but might be too close to Ragstone in sound), Coppernob Models, New Lowca Foundry (a bit further away) or lots of others.
    Dog Star likes this.
  10. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    It’s all in the name.

    Some while ago a friend announced that if he were to be made redundant he’d got a backup plan to set up a spring cleaning business called Little Treasures, each operative having a white van with the name emblazoned.
    I suggested it would be fun to have a business with a fleet of white vans with the name Little Basxxxds on the side.
    We tried in vain to think what the purpose of the business could be.

    Then months later it suddenly came to me - not a fleet of vans, but a triple-deck artic sheep transporter, converted to a mobile little kids playroom, that crawled slowly through the local villages picking up and dropping off kids as it went, offering a couple of hours of relief to exasperated mums. It could even have a paintball deck - the configurations are endless.

    Only the following week to my annoyance a saw a planning application by Montesomething Nannies to locate a mobile double-decker play bus on various local village greens and I thought “Hey, that was my idea!”.
    Last edited: 12 November 2020
    Marc Dobson likes this.
  11. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    Business names, and especially logos, have always interested me - I enjoy seeing good examples, though I am useless at the creative aspect myself.
    Some 20 years back the graphic artists went all abstract and really messed up some brilliant logos - keep it relevant and obvious to the eye.

    What information do you wish the name to convey, and what is your priority?
    Who are we?
    Where are we?
    What do we do?​
    One or more pieces of this information can be contained in a well-designed logo.
    If What do we do (or at least the industry you’re in - modelling?) is apparent from the name, it could avoid misunderstandings!

    If your name is contained therein, then should you ever sell the business it will likely be changed and could even reduce the goodwill value.

    Do you have a hankering for the geographical area covered by the Furness?
    If so and it is high up on your priority, I like Overseer's idea of a play on Lowca Foundry.

    Last edited: 12 November 2020
    Marc Dobson likes this.
  12. ianlbsc

    ianlbsc Western Thunderer

    MarcDobsonModels has a slight pun but also describes what you are doing and what you sell and all encompassing. I use ianmaccormacmodels for that same purpose. Marc Models is best avoided - already in use and lots of annoyed customers last year when Mike had got dementia and people not getting their models or money.
    Cheers Ian
    Marc Dobson likes this.
  13. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    To answer your last 2 questions, first. The Furness area is just where my parents lived when I started the business, as a uni project, in 1999. l was posted back to the area in 2000 and the first wagons produced were for my Father who models the Furness. As Ian knows one of my big interest is Historical Railways in general and I have a weakness of LBSCR terriers and GER tram locos. So to dich the Furness bit wouldn't upset me at all.

    I did think up this "The Historical Railway Company" as that's what we do. However it does sound very similar to the HMRS.

  14. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Must admit that for years I assumed you modeled only the Furness Railway. Your website homepage already says:

    "Pre-grouping Railways From Furness Railway Wagon Company"

    So if you are no longer keen on the "Furness" or the "Wagon", just stick with the first three words that you already have.

  15. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I advertised myself in model magazines as 'The Midland Livery Specialist' in the late 1960's.

    George Mellor (GEM) told me to trade on my name. "Your name is your reputation" he told me. So it became 'Larry Goddard, Spray Painting & finishing (Est.1972)'. It covered a multitude of sins including the painting of a full-size double deck bus and two coaches!

    In your case, it could be Marc Dobson Models. Model Loco & Rolling stock Builder.

    As your reputation spreads far and wide, your models will be referred to as 'Dobsons'. Also, people looking for loco builders will instantly see you are one.

    People who used their own names for trading are still well known even after retirement: Exley, Brackenborough, Beeson etc.
    Last edited: 12 November 2020
    adrian, daifly, Mudhen and 2 others like this.
  16. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Do be careful, there's more than one Dobson out here in modelland...
    Giles likes this.
  17. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    Very true.
  18. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    I don't know anything about Dobsons. I trade as Williams Models, but am constantly referred to in articles as Mike Williams. There were two Mike Williams, both manufacturers in Gauge 3 and that did cause some confusion. I stuck around and the other one moved on, but that can indeed be a big problem.

  19. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Well, I have no intention of going into competition with Marc!
  20. RyanOPlasty

    RyanOPlasty New Member

    How about changing Furness to Furnace?