Cool names make a difference in business

Knoxville has a new contender for the coolest business name in town. Red Chair Architects made its debut today with the merger of Cockrill Planning & Design and Community Tectonics, firms with long local histories.

Unique, memorable names can give a company a competitive edge. Way too often businesses stick the founder’s name on the door and leave it there year after year. That might work for a law firm, but it’s boring.

Of course, good service is the bottom line. Cool names are meaningless if the company doesn’t deliver results for its customers.

Red Chair CEO David Cockrill said the firm’s name symbolizes “a comfortable place of real distinction for our clients.” In other words, Red Chair is committed to listening to its clients and focusing on their needs.

With a combined 90 years in business, it’s a bit surprising – and definitely a relief – that the principals didn’t opt for something predictable or stodgy like Community Planning. Or worse, a jumble of intitials.

My only complaint is the new firm didn’t go far enough. They should nix the traditional executive titles and go for something edgy.

Chief Design Dude and Planning Evangelist Extraordinaire would look really nice on business cards.