Minot or Minnow?

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It’s actually Minot. Pronounced MY-NOT. 

As a small business owner, selecting a company name is important because it is the first step of developing your brand. It’s your company’s identity moving forward. For that reason, the word or series of words selected to represent your brand should be well thought out, carefully vetted and tested. This is the exact advice I’ve given my clients and why the rebranding projects that I’ve done have an extensive discovery phase. 

After two years of business, I’m realizing that I probably could have done a better job of testing MY business name. I hear people attempt to pronounce this company name, and they hesitate because they are unsure as to how to say it. More often than not people say “Minnow” Communications.  

It’s funny.  But not funny at the same time. 

A branding fail? Not in my opinion. It is an opportunity for me to tell the story of why I chose Minot (MY-NOT) Marketing Communications. 

For some, a business name is tied to the services or product; others choose to simply use a family name or industry term. It really is personal choice. Minot Marketing Communications was something I’d decided on easily five years before developing a business plan. I’ll explain why. 

Growing up in the seaside town of Cohasset, Minot Lighthouse was an iconic part of the town; everyone knew its story about being the “I love you” lighthouse.

As a communications professional, I like good story and finding unique methods for connecting with audiences. The story of Minot’s Light captured the essence of communications. 

History reads that the wives of the offshore sailors would claim the Minot Lighthouse’s 1-4-3 flashing sequence was communication from their husbands. The signal numerically mirrored the words “I love you” gaining the structure the alternate name “Lovers Light.” While lighthouses are known for warning about the rough seas, Minot’s 1-4-3 sequence was interpreted differently because of the onshore audience receiving the message. 

In order to have effective communications, we must first understand the audience, their mentality and the type of information they are looking to receive. Only then can a perfect message be created to address this audience. By message, I mean words, graphics, photos, colors and fonts. They all factor into the interpretation of the information conveyed. 

The concept of lighthouse communication fascinates me.  A simple ray of light holds such an important message, and the effectiveness of its communication with the intended audiences is something we all strive for in marketing. But the story of Minot’s Light reminds us that every message can be interpreted differently based on the mindset of the receiver.  

The name Minot Marketing Communications embodies the services we offer and the guidance we provide to our clients. The story of Minot’s Light is interesting and unexpected, and I enjoy  explaining why it played a role in naming the company. 

Who knows? Five years from now maybe the company name will be shortened or the logo will be altered, but one thing is for sure, the word MINOT is here for the long haul. It is more than just a name.