Help me name my new company! Exciting stuff!

…kind of. Actually, I’ve got the name already, I just need a bit of help with the strapline.

Please could you vote on which one you prefer and also let me know your thoughts / reasoning as to why? I’m just after your gut feel response really.

“XYZ company are a boutique executive search firm”


“XYZ company are a specialist executive search firm”

Many thanks in advance!

Actually, it should be XYZ Company is a…

I like “specialist executive search firm.” For some reason “boutique” brings to mind some cutesy little shop downtown where they sell overpriced clothes and knicknacks.

How exciting! good luck! I agree with specialist and have the same thought when I hear boutique. Would it help to identify the specialty?

The “are a” / “is a” is a British / American thing, I think.

At any rate, “boutique” in that context sounds like “stupid business buzzword showing little facility for the English language and therefore not someone I’d trust with my money.” “Boutique” can certainly be an adjective, but I don’t see it as an adverb, and in any case the four-word abstract noun pile-on is just too much.

I think boutique is better. If XYZ is a specialist firm, you should specify the specialty. Boutique implies that it’s small, and provides better service.

For example, if XYZ only does medical staffing, then it can be called a medical staffing specialist firm. However, if it services various staffing needs, then boutique is better.

I think you should either tell us or do a self assessment of who you’re specializing in. I don’t get cutesy shop selling knicknack vibe from boutique, but I’m used to hearing about boutique investment banks or boutique law firms. If your clients aren’t likely to be used to the word in that context you’ll definitely want to avoid it.

Thanks guys - all good feedback & gratefully received.

Ivylass - yes, I should have said, it’s a British company, and companies & other corporate bodies can be referred to in the first person plural over here. For example, we might also say: the government are going to have to raise taxes."

I think Fuzzy Dunlop may have hit the nail on the head - just because I think of boutique law firms / investment banks, doesn’t mean my clients will - and they probably won’t. More likely to think of overpriced clothes shops…

I guess I’ll have to go with ‘specialist’. It’s not a bad word, but it’s adding an extra 1 or 2 syllables to a phrase which is already a bit of a mouthful. Back to the thesaurus…

One of my clients suggested ‘bespoke’, which I rather like. Except, while my company’s service may be bespoke, it doesn’t sound quite right to describe the company itself that way? What do people think?

I rather like “bespoke,” but again, I hope all of your clients are British: I don’t think Americans use that word at all. How about “tailored” or “custom(-ised),” both of which are also lifted from clothing services but are more broadly applicable?

I’m guessing that whether or not you use “boutique” greatly depends on the area in which you’re going to specialize. In my area of business, “boutique” carries a positive connotation, whereas it may not in other areas.

I prefer specialist. There are areas where “boutique” is common enough to pass unnoticed, but in this case struck me as trendy buzzspeak.

The best alternative I could come up with in 45 seconds is:

XYZ company are a precise focus executive search firm.

That switches the description from the executive to your company…which may be good thing. It says your company conducts finely focused searches, rather than just looking for tightly specialized executives.

To me that’s an equally effective tact, and slightly less confining.

A Boutique makes me think of a place to get your hair done in a girly manner and probably not having something for me.
:Shrug: Not a fan of it unless that’s the target market.

No way to answer this unless you can clarify what you are specializing in. **THespos **is correct - “boutique” can be good or bad depending on the area of specialization…

WordMan, who gets shopped by recruiters way too often and who’s wife is an executive recruiter…

Easy decision, “boutique” is too French. :wink: