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 min read

What is Toan?

A graphic with the words "What is Toan" featuring the Toan logo

What does “Toan” mean?

We can’t tell you how many times we've been asked this question since we began. It sounds the same as “tone”, ok, but what’s the point? Why’d we pick this name?

As luck would have it, we landed our first client before we had chosen our business name. While this was great, it put the pressure on us to complete the small business setup process ASAP. We’d just listened to NPR’s “How I Built This” podcast about Jerry Murrell, founder of Five Guys, who encountered a similar issue. 

He started his business with his four sons and they struggled to agree on a name, but they believed they were sitting on an idea that people wanted. So, they decided, “Let’s call it Five Guys, and we can change it later.” We felt we shared the same mindset: the service was the most important thing in the equation, not what you called it. Let’s get it out into the world and change it (if we want to) later. 

Hence, Toan - which stands for “Thinking of a Name” - was born. To boot, Merriam Webster defines “Toan” as “to reach an end”, “to come to an agreement”, or "to drive to an early grave.” We felt confident we’d identify with one of those soon enough, so we created our LLC under the name Toan Digital.

But over the years, we have grown fonder of our name as we discovered more meaning behind the word. 

Toan, in its Vietnamese origin, signifies a state of completeness, wholeness, and fulfillment. It encapsulates the idea of feeling acceptance within oneself, regardless of external factors or achievements. 

Often in Western culture, we are made to feel the opposite. We’re enticed to think that we need some product, some status, or some other person in our lives in order to make us feel whole inside. 

Marketing companies are well-versed in this, as they play on the emotional triggers of consumers in order to tempt them to feel like they need a product or service to bring them inner peace. 

In digital sales and copywriting, the script generally goes as follows: 

  • Build rapport
  • Listen to situation
  • Highlight prospect’s problem/emotional trigger
  • Position yourself as solution to problem
  • Justify with logic

Although this formula is largely successful, the concept of subliminally playing on emotional insecurities in an effort to create a sense of lacking in potential clients was not an option for us.

This is why you are only just now reading our first blog; we needed to both (1) align our personal principles with a new style of marketing as well as (2) prove it's validity through successful client experiences.

For any of our friends in sales, let us clarify - we are not saying that traditional sales and marketing tactics are inherently malicious, or that the process can’t be done in good faith.

We simply believe that the most surefire way to grow your online presence is to be yourself.

Peace and confidence comes from within, and by encouraging creators and business owners to embrace their authentic selves unapologetically, we promote a culture of self-acceptance which leads to genuine connection and expansion. 

That is what we want for our clients, and anyone else who may be reading this. 

The ability to grow in peace.

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Toan Digital helps people establish their digital presence and connect with their audience. Send us a message to start your digital journey, ask us a question, send us a joke, or anything else you'd like to do.

We're looking forward to hearing from you.