OUR STANTON HOUSE STORY: NEIL WILSON

Our Stanton House Story: Neil Wilson
Posting date:06 Oct 2020

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS CREATING EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES 
OUR STANTON HOUSE STORY: WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Our CEO and Founder, Neil Wilson reflects on the naming of Stanton House as we celebrate 10 successful years in business…

Reflecting on 10 successful years

2020 will surely be remembered as a year of extraordinary change for people and businesses around the world. It is also a huge milestone for Stanton House as we celebrate ten years in business this October. There have been so many challenges, learns and successes along the way - and almost a decade later - I can say that I am incredibly proud of the resilient business we are today.

I profoundly believe that our raison d'etre (reason for being / purpose) which is to ‘create exceptional experiences’ has been the guiding principle which has enabled our diversification, international expansion and continued growth. It has been - and will continue to be - central to all that we do. 

Over the last few weeks, I have found myself reflecting on the early stages of our journey where - Nick Eaves (Co-founder) and I - laid the foundations for Stanton House. Everything from making the initial decision to start our own business to securing funding and creating a brand identity. 

However, I specifically wanted to address a question that comes up time and time again. ‘Why did you name your business Stanton House? Why, like so many other recruitment companies, didn’t you use your own name “Wilson” or a combination of yours and your founding partner’s “Eaves”?’.

Naming Stanton House

In the summer of 2010, once we had decided to take the brave step of setting up a brand-new recruitment business, Nick and I started mapping out what would make the company different and we also started to think about what we would name our company.  

We were clear that we wanted to develop a scalable, customer centric operating model - but by far the most difficult part was determining the name. We also agreed that we didn’t want to use our own names. Why? Truthfully, our egos were not big enough for that. 

We went through three stages, taking three months, before we found and finally settled on Stanton House.

Stage 1: Realisation 

Nick and I tried to find the perfect company name. One that would make people sit up and take notice. One that would be synonymous with the amazing company that was being formed. One that would immediately conjure up an image of a business that was fresh and which would blow the industry apart. 

We wanted an obvious association with concepts such as Customer Experience, Excellence, Relationships, Standing out from the Crowd. This would be straightforward – or so we thought!

Days passed with a few suggestions offered up by one and immediately ruled out by the other. We considered Latin alternatives when the English words seemed too obvious. We looked at new words formed from a combination of two words we liked - ‘Relatience’ - anyone? 

As days turned to weeks the initial energy had disappeared and we were both hoping that the other would suddenly be struck with a moment of inspiration. It didn’t happen. We needed help.

Stage 2: Professional help 

We enlisted the help of brand name specialists. They organised and facilitated multiple sessions. We brainstormed company names for two whole days. The shortlist comprised of: Depth, Polestar, Tomorrow, Futureproof, Acuity, Likemind, Mindshare, Clarity and Alchemy. 

There was a bit of enthusiasm for Alchemy but there already existed several companies with that name including another recruitment company.

 Two days later we realised that we couldn’t saddle our beloved, yet to exist company, with any of these names. We were back to square one.

Stage 3: Defining some rules 

It was now late August 2010. Although we had failed in a simple but crucial aspect of starting a business we were not deterred. Better ideas had started to form by now. We had defined some clear rules to guide us:

1. The company name should be two words

2. Definitely not two names (as in Eaves & Wilson Associates) 

3. The second word should be a place or destination. Somewhere people would be happy to go.

4. The first word didn’t matter too much 

We began to realise that our company name didn’t have to be clever or meaningful. Looking at other world-famous brands it was very clear that it would be what we stood for that would count. The company name would become synonymous with that, not the other way round. 

So, the options for the second word became: Place, Garden, Road, House, Green, Castle, Park, Wood, Forest or Hill.

We went through so many possibilities for the first part of the name: Types of tree, plant and flower, colours, animals. I remember that we liked a lot of the combinations with ‘Oak’ but they were already far too popular. 

The next possibility to review was a list of place names. We were pretty desperate by now. We took a few that we liked Boston, Stanford, Stanton. Finally, we were close.  Boston Park was the favourite. Domain names taken. 

Boston House, already taken. Boston Green, taken. Stanford sounded good. However, just recently Allan Stanford had been imprisoned for fraud in a high-profile case so that felt wrong.

What about Stanton? It resonated with me in particular as one of my favourite footballers growing up in Scotland was Pat Stanton. Stanton Green, Stanton Park, Stanton Place – all domain names taken. Stanton House was free. Done. We bought Stantonhouse.com that night. Huge relief all round. Imagine not being able to start a business because you couldn’t come up with a name!

It’s now hard to imagine being called anything but Stanton House. 

To start your journey with us and to find out about the current opportunities we have available please contact Meg Appleby, meg.appleby@stantonhouse.com, 0779 590 9781.

For more on what it took to start and build Stanton House listen to Nick Eaves in the Stanton House episode of the RAG podcast.