This might be useful if you’re hawwing and humming about this topic yourself….
Often business naming comes up in sessions for my more in-depth design packages (like the VIP Expert Package)
Here is my take, from both design and future-proof perspectives.
𝗨𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲
If you are the face of your business and you want to use your own name, YOU are the brand. That’s fine and many of my clients choose this option.
You can use your name as an umbrella brand, under which your products and services sit, giving you some flexibility. This umbrella brand should be designed in a way for you to be able to have ‘sister branding’ for any sub niches you create.
For example, Marie Forleo has her personal brand to promote B School and Copy Cure courses. Her umbrella brand has a distinct flavour and her courses reflect that flavour, while still enjoying their own brand identity.
The advantage of using your own name is that people will want to work with YOU. Personal brands are very powerful these days. There is a level of human-ness, transparency and connection.
The disadvantage is that stepping away from your business, pivoting or selling it is harder. My hairdresser had this issue recently. She wanted to sell 50% of her business and had to change the eponymous salon name to a business name. At the extreme end, you may lose the right to use your own name; Alannah Hill the fashion designer is an example of this.
𝗨𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗯𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲
I don’t use my own name. My business might change but then I will change the name. I think changing your business drastically, as I have done over 20 years, under your own name confuses the marketplace.
I have had a few businesses, all with different names. They were all using my design skills, but the end products were vastly different:
– Emma J Downes (custom fine art using my maiden name)
– Emsie-J Art (nursery artwork)
– Smart Art Camps (the kids loved that name!)
– Bespoke Art (shop)
– My Bespoke Chair (online customisable design platform)
– I Love My Chair (fabric & chair design and upholstery)
– Bespoke Backdrops & Branding (which started off as just Bespoke Backdrops)
– The Bespoke Business Hub (business mentoring for creative entrepreneurs)
Each pivot has been clean on the outside, despite the messiness internally of pivoting. Which to be honest has never been that messy.
Had I only used my own name, people would now be mighty confused as to what I actually can help them with. I have a personal website, which is not a business site but more of a portfolio, get-to-know-me platform.
The advantage of this has been I am very flexible and still have the option to create a personal brand business. And I sometimes add my name to my logo – Bespoke Backdrops & Branding with Emma Veiga-Malta. If I need a personal touch.
Neither option is better than the other. Think about where you want to go in the future with your business. What suits your business model and market?
And don’t fret if you feel you’re committed to your current name and branding. It’s not a life sentence. Typically, brands and businesses refresh every 2-3 years, so you can always change tack. It’s totally up to you.
Hope that shed some light on the topic for you. Food for thought!
I go through this with my VIP Expert Clients – whether we are branding a whole business or a signature program or course, I can help!
Book your free Brand Strategy & Design review here – let’s get your business named!