Before I set up shop as e-bakery I worked at a healthcare start-up.
I was the marketing, sales, customer service, and billing departments rolled into a tidy little package. Things hummed along quite happily until, of course, one of our customers called to say:
“MY DOCUMENTS WON’T PRINT”
“THE MEDICAL RECORDS HAVE GONE MISSING”
“MY HAIR IS ON FIRE FROM USING SO MANY CAPITAL LETTERS.”
At which point I would turn to my business partner and say, “I just want to bake pies.”
Nobody complains about pies. Pies are sweet and warm and full of wonderful things like blueberries or apples or banana cream.
Pies don’t get “lost” in cyberspace and they don’t spit out unformatted XML code. Sure, they can get a tad overdone or have crust like tar paper, but you can always bake another one and be on your way.
So when it came time to name my new business I thought of a bakery. Someplace where people could bring the raw ingredients of their marketing plan and I could help them jazz it up with some social media, blogging and online presence. And, you know, it’s all well and good to carry these metaphors around in your head, knowing that they make perfect sense… until you go to the city for a business license.
Alexandria City Official: So, will you be operating any ovens or kitchen equipment?
Me: Um, no. I provide people with marketing help – online social media stuff.
Alexandria City Official: Will people be coming to your residence to purchase baked goods?
Me: I don’t bake anything, except maybe marketing ideas.
Alexandria City Official: Yeah… I still don’t get it.
I panicked. Have I chosen the wrong name? Am I going to be explaining myself all the time? Will all this ‘splainin’ dilute my message of helping people use social media to grow their businesses?
As it happens, I kept the name. Notwithstanding the whole metaphor thing and people getting confused, I love the idea of baking even if it’s an idea instead of a cupcake.
Maggie Gyllenhaal gets it… making the world a better place with cookies: