What is in a Name?
Sports Direct ‘s Upsurge through Smart Marketing

Do you know what is the most hated brand in the UK?

According to Which – Testing and Research, the most hated brand in the UK is Sports Direct. (They are hated more than Ryanair, let that sink in).

If a business is hated so much, common sense dictates that Sports Direct must be a dying business. But, it is not.

In fact, the company made a profit of £77.5 million in the financial year to April 2018. Yes, the number the year before was 281.6, but this is after the disastrous acquisitions of stocks in Debenham and House of Fraser.

On some fronts, the company is actually doing better than previous years. Sales numbers for Sports Direct rose by 3.5% to £3.4 billion outside Europe.

Actually, let’s do a simple test. If you are in the UK, Google “Sports”, Sports Direct is one of the first names that pop up. But, how?

What is in a Name?

In digital marketing, there is a simple trick that can really help a startup. The trick does not need to be deployed in the long term, but there are clear benefits for the beginning phase of a business.

Here you go – Include a key term or at least a part of it in your business name.

But, what is in a name?

The way search engine algorithms work, sometimes it is not just about what you are saying, it is about what the search engine thinks are the associated terms with what you are saying.

This means that, for example, if an article is posted about Captain America, Google knows that this is part of the Avengers or Marvel family. This association sounds simple but at algorithm levels, the association is deeper and constructed over the years.

Over the years, when people have looked for Captain America, they have show an interest in Marvel right before and right afterwards looking at pages that talked about Captain America. Similarly, when content has been produced about Captain America, it has mentioned Marvel here and there extensively.

The second part of associated writing is true when naming a business.

When you include your key term multiple times along with the title of your business – and when other people, e.g. your clients or other forms of media, start doing the same – Google picks up the two terms as closely associated.

So, in the case of Sports Direct, when the company talks about sports, even in the form of clothing or equipment, over time Sports Direct has become synonymous with sports across the UK. (Mike Ashley owing Newcastle United helps the cause too).

Now you know what is in a name for Sports Direct. But, this is not it. There is one more main element in the story.

Smart Marketing

When Sports Direct buys out dying brands – Dunlop, Slazenger, Karrimor and even Debenhams and House of Fraser – they are not just buying a business. In fact, they are buying the brand, they are buying the word of mouth and media that comes along it.

Buying Karrimor for £5 million, Dunlop and Slazenger for 40, and House of Fraser for 90 is nothing when compared with the amount of marketing that the company has received with each purchase.

On the other hand, Google has been buying a new company on average per week, but how many times have you seen that in the news? Apple spent 100s of millions of dollars on patent rights, how much have the general public heard about that? Almost never because such spendings are not newsworthy, they don’t make people talk about it.

But, through Smart Marketing, Sports Direct has been able to stay in the news. (They are in the news for a lot of wrong reasons too, but it doesn’t seem to hurt them either).

Concluding Remarks – What is in a Name and Smart Marketing – A Winning Combination

So, here you go.

If you are starting a business, consider putting the key term in the title. (Having a catchy name has it’s own benefits but you will need to spend more on marketing afterwards).

Similarly, think of acquisitions as a way of forwarding the brand, and not just building up a business. (But, that’s in the long term).

We are in no way suggesting that be another Sports Direct, be hated by many of your employees, convert your stores into aesthetic blunders. But, learn from the wisdom of the giant – even if the giant might be evil. (We will let you be the judge of that).

At Marketing Voice, we hold the ability to help you take off your startup. It is not even about money, it is about helping fellow businesses. We remember our journey and we are simply interested in helping forward. Please check our seo services in cities across the UK, including BirminghamManchesterLondon, and beyond.

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