Home Depot got its start in 1978. It broke into the marketplace as a no-fuss one-stop-shop for everything related to home improvement, decorating, and DIY. Far from the pretentious perfection that many other brands were portraying back in the day, Home Depot decided to brand themselves as approachable, laid-back, and the warehouse where DIY solutions and bargains are readily available. So, they chose a simple and straightforward e-commerce business name idea: Home Depot.
What’s in the name “Home Depot”?
Home Depot is a straightforward no-frills business name idea. The definition of the word depot is as follows: “a place for the storage of large quantities of equipment, food, or goods. Or, a place where buses, trains, or other vehicles are housed and maintained and from which they are dispatched for service.”
Home Depot immediately brings to mind a warehouse that is probably abundantly stocked with items for the home – it’s a DIYer’s dream come true. They’ve played well on both definitions there, the first one suggesting abundance, the second definition of the word depot plays into the thought that has gone into their branding.
Home Depot branding
That big orange sign has become synonymous with DIY and home improvement. Home Depot explains the inspiration: “The team developed a logo inspired by crates used to transport freight, keeping in line with the “depot” theme. Stamped at an upright angle to symbolize success and christened in orange to help simulate activity, the logo has aimed to inspire more doing since its debut.”
Home Depot started when founders, Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank got the boot at their place of employment. They wanted to start a brand that’s unpretentious, raw, and provided the abundance of no-frills and no-fuss DIY tools and materials. The bright colors not only stimulate creativity, as they suggested, but also gives the brand a memorable element to it. No one can forget the iconically bright hue.
Home Depot’s statement regarding stimulating creativity through their use of color is incredibly insightful. It indicates that they have an in-depth understanding of their target market. DIY and home improvement, on face value, appears to be handyman and task-related. In actual fact, when you’re working on a home to improve its appearance, there’s a great deal of creativity involved. Home improvement, design and decorating make a house a DIYer’s blank canvas. As a business name idea, Home Depot is memorable and simple.
Home Depot encourages their shoppers to exercise their creativity and experiment with brave new ideas.
Home Depot’s target audience
We’ve mentioned home-improvement enthusiasts and DIYers. Their target market includes a wide range of people, since people from every walk of life live in a house. The most prolific shoppers that love to get their hands dirty and enjoy some recreational DIY tasks around the house tend to be young couples.
Newly weds, couples welcoming a new baby into the family, couples that are moving house, and those purchasing their first home together. Since these people spend a significant amount of time researching the “look” they want to create, they’re not likely to want ready-made and fancy solutions. They want fairly neutral materials that enable them to create what they’ve envisioned. Home Depot’s brand speaks to those who value the ability to customize their look.
The “Depot” element in their business name idea speaks to their target audience. It’s raw. It’s blank. It’s suggestive of abundance in terms of choice and variety.
What we can learn from Home Depot’s business name idea
Their goal was to be different. They were not the first, the biggest, or the most unique retailer in their niche but they wanted to meet the needs of their target audience. It helps that both founders were experienced in the industry and had been client-facing – they understood what people visiting their stores really wanted. Their success comes from that. The genuine desire to make it easier for the average DIYer to get what he or she might need.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp–transforming the way names are developed by combining an affordable agency-level brainstorming process with the unmatched creativity of “the crowd.”