Well, they took a name similar to my company's name - Alphabet Signs.
While surfing the web on Monday an article headline caught my eye that read 'Google is now Alphabet'. I was confused. Was this a joke? Was this about me? I read further on the Google blog where Larry Page announced that Google has formed a new company named Alphabet which is an umbrella organization for all their properties. They liked the name Alphabet because it is a collection of letters that represent language and is core to how they index all the world's knowledge.
Larry searching for a new company name reminded me of when twenty-five years ago I too was trying to create a new brand. The World Wide Web hadn't yet been created and I was going door-to-door peddling 'OPEN' signs. Back then, most business searches began with the Yellow Pages.
What's in a name?
Thinking of a name for my new business, I realized that most signs used letters and graphics as its component and I should use 'Alphabet' in my name. It also would list me first in the Yellow Pages.
Since then, my business, Alphabet Signs, has grown to include over 3,500 hundred sign products in 100+ categories. We offer quality products tested by sign experts at discounted prices. Many of the products are in stock and ship out within one business day with manufacturer guarantees.
A lot more had changed in those twenty-five years. I've tested every fad and business model. I've seen the ups-and-downs of each business cycle and the great recession. I transformed from a large bricks-and-mortar retailer to a pure Internet retailer. Today, we rely heavily on Google search and now they have a similar name.
What's going to happen now?
Will this affect me? Surely no one would confuse Alphabet Signs for an Internet search giant. I like to flatter myself thinking that maybe Larry, Sergei or Sundar actually visited my site and became inspired by its quality and the name. Great minds think alike so I must be in prestigious company.
Most likely, sharing a similar name with Google will have little effect on my business. The way that users search today and the way Google has developed its AI, it can easily discern queries for signs from search. At worst, I may have to keep a close eye on my keywords and maybe add a negative exact match my brand name. I don't want to accidentally create Google ads to promote Mr. Page and Mr. Brin!