Contrary to what some of our Twitter followers believe, here at Flint & Tinder in the UK, we don’t make men’s underwear. We design stuff like websites, logos and business cards, we leave the underwear designs to our namesake in America. The problem is, we keep getting a lot of praise for making underwear anyway.

The reason for it is simple… our twitter name is FlintandTinder.

At first, once we started being tagged in few incorrect tweets I directed the sender to the correct account, but recently I’ve stopped. I figured why should I correct the mistakes of others? Why should I help my American namesake out, when I have no affinity to them whatsoever? Yes, they might make great underwear, but I don’t know that. All I know is that they named their company the same as mine.

When it comes to naming a company, it pays to do your research.

Finding a good name for a business is hard and it takes time. Finding a unique name is very difficult indeed. Hence we are not the first two companies to share a name, nor will we be the last. If however, you do end up naming your business the same as someone else across the globe (I would sincerely recommend against naming your business the same as someone else within your target geographical market), it pays to build a relationship with them.

Currently every tweet or mention that we receive meant for our American counterparts goes to waste. We don’t follow up the tweets we are mistakenly mentioned in, or engage with the underwear manufacturer’s existing clients or potential clients in any way. That’s no big deal to us of course, but it might mean something to the people creating those tweets or tagging us in, because they obviously don’t know we are not the intended recipients and might believe that the real recipients are ignoring or dismissing their feedback and communication. That can hardly be good for brand management.

I have engaged once with Flint_TinderUSA, a few months back when they asked “what can we do about (the situation)?” After I quelled the desire to reply with “pick a business name not already in use,” I replied, somewhat tongue-and-cheek, that if they send me some boxers and I liked them, then I’d happily promote their brand for free. They didn’t reply to that.

My point is somewhat valid though. Why didn’t they try to build a relationship with my business from the offset? Did they not realise at some point perhaps their customers might get us confused? By engaging with us (that doesn’t have to mean sending us free Boxers), they could have earned some valuable promotion and nice backlinks from a site with Flint & Tinder as a major SEO keyword, and all those opportunities to expand their brand awareness and valuable customer communication on Twitter wouldn’t go to waste. But as it stands, I know nothing about them. Their underwear could be the best you’ll ever wear or the worst. For all they know, I could be a pissed-off business owner bitter that the chance to expand my business overseas has taken a step backwards, who could be causing irreparable damage to their brand secretly across the web.

I’m not, but I could be.

So to conclude, the moral of this story is, be careful when treading on others’ toes, for you never know when your courtesy will repay itself in kind, especially when it comes to the web.

note: this story was written whilst wearing a pair of Calvin Klein black button boxer shorts.