SPECIAL FEATURE: What is in a name? I.K Adusei’s Take On Capital Bank Ghana’s Imminent Collapse In His Book How To Start Small

Jan 19 2020
Kwasi Godson

In his new book on Financial Skills For Business Success, How To Start Small, I.K Adusei related the choice of a business name to the business’ success. In chapter 13, page 205 the author had this to share.

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What is in a name? This is an old aged question. William Shakespeare tried to rally the minds of thinkers around the significance of names given to objects, persons and entities. In his world-famous book Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare wrote these lines:

“Tis but thy name that is

mine enemy:

What’s Montague? It is not

hand nor foot,

Nor arm, nor face, nor any

other part.

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,

By any other name would

smell as sweet.

In this piece, Juliet argued that there was nothing extraordinary in the name Montague – being that, the family of Montague had an unsympathetic rivalry with Juliet’s family. Juliet fell in love with Romeo who was from the rival family of Montague.  In an attempt to justify her love for Romeo, she claimed that if Romeo had been called by any other name, he would still be as sweet and thereby her lover.  

Can this assertion be justified in business? If Coca-Cola was called Jilt, would Jilt taste as sweet? Would Jilt still remain the number two beverage company in the world? What about if Coca-Cola changes its name three times in a year, from Coca-Cola to Jilt, Bronze and Kite. Would the brand still be trusted and valuable?

With all severity, Juliet’s accession flies sharply in the face of conventional business practice. The argument can only retain its validity in the relationship realm as a romance message. In the realm of business, a name has everything extraordinary associated with it. The choice of business name has psychological, legal and fiscal ramifications on any business.

Dangote Cement cannot be swapped with Nestlé Ideal Milk for the milk to taste as good. Neither can Coca-Cola brand change its name to Peace Cola and still remain as valuable.

What is in a business name?

Unless a successful rebranding is done over time that which we call a particular business name, by any other name would lose its value totally.


1. If your business is easy to pronounce, people will favour you more.

In 2014, I came across a bank which was then called, First Capital Plus Bank. My first impression was that the name of the bank was too long for me to consider opening an account with them.

It was too difficult for me to pronounce the name of the bank without forgetting a word or two from the name. I may be very dumb to encounter such difficulty but there may be many dumb people like me whose money the bank may be looking for.

Somewhere in 2016, there were huge billboards in the streets of Accra and numerous LPMs (Live Presenter Mentions) on radio and TV which announced the change of name of the bank from First Capital Plus Bank to Capital Bank.

I wasn’t surprised at all about the new development but the sad thing was that the bank had been in the dark (unattractive) for far too long.

Fast forward 2018, there was news of liquidity (money) challenges hitting the newly branded bank leading to its imminent collapse the same year.

There may be a lot of factors which could have contributed to the demise of the bank but from the onset, it was clear that such an unattractive name was enough testament to result in low patronage hence their lack of money to run their operations.

It should be noted that sales also referred to as money, is the lifeblood of any business. Always bear in mind that, if your business is easy to pronounce, people (sales) will favour you more.

The Book Will Officially Launch In Accra, Ghana at The Octagon Building

2. The simpler the better.

In an attempt not to limit the ill fate of Capital Bank to its initial long name, First Capital Plus Bank, Capital Bank could have been the best choice of name to start with. In business, you need to know how to use the Keep It Simple and Sexy (KISS) tactic. It is a rich ingredient in any sales and marketing meal. The simpler the name the better. Always keep it simple and sexy (KISS).

To read more or access the book please go to: www.abnonline.org/books


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