What should I name my brand?

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Something I have noticed that trips people up (and tripped me up) when starting a biz is the actual name of it. If you have thoughts of starting your own thing then you definitely know what I am talking about.


One minute it hits you like a lighting bolt and you are sure you have found the one!…until 3 hours later, and you are doubting your choice. AGAIN. It’s like an evil ping-pong game, ping-ponging around in your mind.


You waffle. Back and forth. Back and forth. Between your potential names wondering what the ‘right’ one for your beloved new brand will be?


Here’s the thing, their is no ‘right’ one. You just need to pick one and roll with it. Test it out.


Practice saying it, telling people about it, and feeling the way it rolls off your tongue. This alone will give you some clarity and let you know if you are on the mark.


Now I am not saying to give it no thought at all, I believe it varies depending on the context and/or scope of your brand vision.


One thing to think about with a namesake brand tho (your name) is that if you decide to sell it later then you are also selling rights to your own name. Meh, kind of a big deal, but not really.

If it went that way you could have a mid-life identity transformation and rename yourself ‘Mystic Magdalena’ while riding off into the sunset with your perfectly worn leather jacket, glittery spirit boots and dolla’ dolla’ bills flying in your trail (from the successful brand you just freakin’ sold!) It really could be worse.

 
Photo:  @thisisveda

Photo: @thisisveda

 

From personal experience with the namesake vs. brand battle, I kind of choose something in the middle. ‘Bouv Studios’ is obviously derived from my last name (Bouvier) but it felt far enough away to give me some necessary perspective on the brand. Let me explain.

I tried doing things under lindsaybouvier.com at one point but was finding it really difficult to see my brand objectively. I knew I wanted to have a team, therefore the biz vision definitely extended beyond me. With a name not fully my own, I find it easier to view my brand as its own entity so I can make decisions that align with everyone involved and the bigger picture.

Long story short, it gave me a degree of separation and a needed perspective shift like I mentioned above. I feel this decision made a big difference to me finally starting my business and looking at it as its own creation.


So if any of my story resonates with you then maybe a brand name (or something there-of) vs. your actual name is the right fit for you to?

If you do choose to go with a brand name then definitely do consider some things:


1) IS IT SHORT(ISH) AND EASY TO SAY ?
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, you can have longer brand names. But really consider if its actually needed and suits the brand. Shorter names can be easier for the human eye to consume and remember quickly, and with the short attention spans around these days thats a good thing! Also, from a design perspective, shorter names will have more impact at a smaller size vs. longer names that will have to shrink down more to fit in some instances. Think about where you will be applying your name/logo. Will it still have visual impact on your instagram profile pic or the side of a pen once it is shrunk down to fit?

2) IS THE DOMAIN NAME AVAILABLE?
Once you do decide on a name you might be so pumped and just dive right in. (Good for you for finally deciding on a name btw!) BUT cool your jets hotrod, you need to check if the actual domain name is available first. Doing so can save you wasted time and money from realizing later its not available or trademarked.

3) IS THE ACTUAL WORD ATTRACTIVE?
Any designers/creatives working on your brand in the future will thank you for considering this. It might sound weird and we know, kind of a matter of personal opinion, but we can all agree that their are some questionable words out their, conjuring up questionable things? Also LOOK at the word, is it attractive to look at? Does it align with the overall message of the brand?

4) IS IT LIMITING?
You might be stoked about your new biz idea but make sure you don’t limit yourself in the future with a name that is too specific. For Example: LostDayCushions.com is limiting compared to LostDay.com because what if you get sick to death of cushions one day and want to see other things?! Your brand isn’t really about what you sell. Think bigger.


Well I hope some of this talk around names helped. Stop stressing about trying to pick the ‘right’ one. There is no ‘right’ one. There is just the one that you pick.


Trust yourself and don’t let sneaky resistance get in the way of taking action. Resistance will convince you that you haven’t landed on the ‘right’ one until you are 80 and “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

 
Photo:  Sweet Mama Brown

Photo: Sweet Mama Brown

 

Good luck! And if you suck at thinking of names dial a friend, and remember there are 600,000 words in the english language (and thats not even including made up words). You got this!