Kareem Jennings, CEO of Plug, explains the concept of his brand, why the name “Plug” was a top contender for the business name, and what has been his approach to strategic planning.
What is the story behind PLUG?
The concept of Plug – “Premium Lifestyle Unlimited Gains” has been floating around my brain and other business ventures for quite some time. As the name suggests, PLUG allows our customers to connect with premium experiences of a lifetime, a lifestyle in which you will always be gaining various perks. I have a history with events, small scale to large, and also been operating my own businesses for a decade. The concept of PLUG is bridging a gap in both worlds, the events industry, and regular businesses from various industries. We provide fellow entrepreneurs, event organizers, and businesses with the tools to manage loyalty programs, deals, events, coupons & customer service – all with the aim of increasing customer retention rates. Likewise, for consumers, we provide them with a platform to access deals, the best experiences, and to be rewarded and felt like a VIP daily. So in the simplest context of the word PLUG, we are always connecting.
When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on PLUG?
Well, the first step was to clearly identify the problems we were solving, and just how the average person would relate to it. As such the name “PLUG” came to mind as a top contender for the business name. Then we wanted to have a personal attachment to the name and redefine it from its normal slang context and still match our service offering and that’s how the definition of PLUG became Premium Lifestyle Unlimited Gains, Without a doubt, it was a win-win, and by all means that just had to be the name. It was endless, unique, a staple name that people would easily relate to and could easily define our product from any angle.
How did you get the domain name MYPLUG.COM for your brand? Why did you select that one exactly?
In keeping with having a unique spin to the name PLUG, we wanted the brand name to be easily recognized and for the average person to feel a part of the brand. We searched through quite a few URLs that would have the name plug in it, but nothing stood out and seemed more personal than “myplug.com”. I would say it to myself in 10 different contexts, and that name stood out. Do you have the plug? Visit myplug.com. That’s simple and straight to the point, subliminal and direct all at the same time. So without a doubt, that domain name just had to be mine. The organic marketing that we would get from a domain name like this was priceless. Anyone in business knows that word-of-mouth marketing is #1. I could easily see the traction I will get from a domain name like this, it will just roll off someone’s tongue naturally.
How has owning MYPLUG.COM affected your business? Do you own any other domain names?
Yes, I have several other domain names that are in sync with the brand, but mainly to ensure no one else uses it. Myplug.com by far is the most preferred and most organic name. Getting this domain has allowed us to shape our entire marketing campaign into a direct as well as a subliminal strategy. Because the domain name and business name are so diverse it allows us to reach thousands of prospective customers daily without going over the top on marketing costs. Having the right domain to match my business is extremely crucial, especially in a digital society. I see this name and brand being called in the big leagues like the other billion-dollar tech companies in a few years. Just to have that vision and ability based on domain name and business name is priceless.
Who is your target customer and how is your brand name helping in reaching them?
Our target customers are top tier businesses from all industries and consumers seeking to explore a lifestyle beyond the norm. As the name suggests – PLUG, everyone knows what a plug is, but when you see that name on a billboard, the average person wonders what kind of PLUG is this. The ability to build that curiosity about a product, by just saying the name is everything. So it will always open doors in the right direction. Eventually, our customers will be reaching us, just based on curiosity only.
How do you keep your brand consistent across different channels online and offline?
We keep it simple and to the point at all times. Even when we are doing subliminal marketing, the brand presence is always strong and the same. The Icon of the “P” is always represented the same in any material. Our designs and strategies are always clean and simplistic. It’s also in my favour that I own an entire branding and signage company as well so the marketing and branding efforts are like clockwork for me.
Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?
The pandemic affected my sign company definitely and slowed sales down. But for PLUG, I view the pandemic as an even greater opportunity. Pandemic has forced a lot of people to think outside of the box. Even though the PLUG idea and concept was launched before the pandemic, since April 2020 – the pandemic has helped to shape the way forward with the vision and opened new doors for exponential growth. Specifically, because it has highlighted to both business and consumers the need for technology in your everyday lives. Because I have a tech background – degree in programming, fuse that with being an entrepreneur and event organizer, It allowed me to think strategically and swiftly. So the PLUG product has been further conceptualized to solve more business needs and even prospective needs. The idea of PLUG is to always be steps ahead in the tech world by remaining innovative. Our #1 focus is customer service. As such we have developed tools and unique ways of doing things all with the aim of trying to have the best customer service business model to help other businesses. Currently, our product offering is unmatched worldwide and we will strive to keep it that way.
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
The root of an effective marketing campaign is planning. So we plan months in advance a series of our marketing campaigns. We always try to stay simplistic, clean, and subliminal. That has been proven by us to raise the curiosity factor about our product. Once we get people to become curious or feel like they are missing out, they will naturally gravitate to the product. That has been our approach to strategic planning.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general, and when it comes to branding and naming?
To any other entrepreneur out there, the most important criteria for any viable product is the brand presence/ identity. In some cases, it is even more important than the actual product. Defining how your brand will be represented or interpreted sets the standard and the pace for any future business to come. So invest wisely with the brand identity. Always try to stick to a name that defines the product, or something that will make people extremely curious about what the product is about. In general when you are thinking of a business concept always try to analyze from various perspectives and answer these two questions:
1. What major problems are you solving with the new business idea?
2. Who will be interested in your product? If you are solving multiple problems with the business idea, you are already off to a great start. Just stay consistent.
Where do you see your business in the future and how does your brand name fit into that vision?
I see PLUG as a global brand that will continue to solve business needs and become a leader in the tech world. It will pave the way for a new generation and streamline the way of doing things. We will continue to raise the bars in the tech world so that our consumers are always pleased. Because we are so focused on customer service and “connecting you with experiences of a lifetime”, it will build a healthy framework for exponential success. Everyone knows what a plug is, and it is a part of everyone’s lifestyle – the regular plug that is lol. So P.L.U. G will continue on that same path with a different twist. Premium Lifestyle Unlimited Gains!
We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help or just want to chat with someone about the process, book a free consultation at MarkUpgrade, we are always happy to hear from you.