Car naming is an automotive topic that has always intrigued me. I had an aunt that always named her cars. Because of that influence, when I got my own, I did the same and still do to this day every time I get a new ride. BTW my car is a silver coupe called Luna (yes, I’m a Harry Potter fan from way back!).
Like naming your car, it’s popular to come up with a business name when you are starting out on the road to entrepreneurship. But nowadays there’s a new debate on whether you should use a personal name for your business or create a business name.
When deciding between the two, there’s bound to be a little anxiety. What should you do for YOUR business?
Don’t worry, I am going to break it down for you so you can decide...
The Pros & Cons of Creating a Business Name
The Pros & Cons of Using Your Name
A personal story, and no it’s not about my black coupe I named Elvira...
When I started in the graphics business some 20 plus years ago, it was all the rage to create cool and rememberable business names. So when it came time for me to go out on my own, I decided to go down that road myself.
Looking back, I still like what I’ve created. The logo is fun and says so much about myself and my services, but I think I would have gone the simpler route had I known how hard it is to stand out online these days.
I’m not saying I don’t get discovered with my unique business name and the way I present and position myself online, but now that I know the importance of a personal brand, I have to do double duty.
I have my business branded website and social media accounts AND I have my personally branded website and social media accounts. And I share and post on all of these platforms.
Think about when you give out a referral. Are you more likely to remember a business name or a personal name?
Hands down, a personal name attached to a service business goes so much farther these days.
Not only that, but if someone is referred to you, they are likely to go online and check you out. And if they do, what are they going to see?
Is it going to be your name in the default search body copy linked to your company website or will it be a picture of your latest dinner on your personal Facebook page? Or worse yet, someone else with your name?
All of these scenarios are not ideal if you want to be seen as the face of your business and get the reputation that you know your stuff and are the perfect match for that referral.
So, which way should you go?
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong approach. Some people love having their businesses named after themselves and experience wild success in doing so, while others reap the benefits of using a business moniker.
There’s always one…that friend or family member that just can’t resist commenting on your driving, sharing their time-saving route, overreacting to traffic, and driving you completely crazy.
Not that these passengers don’t mean well, but do they really serve a purpose when you are getting from point A to point B? And on a given day, would you even consider asking them for their opinion or critique?
So what does this have to do with your small business’s brand design?
Have you ever asked your Facebook followers to help you pick your tagline? Or asked a friend of a friend’s designer for their professional opinion on a logo design?
If you have, you’ve just opened your business’s back seat up to trouble.
Asking for opinions on your branding sets you up for headaches because most likely the people you are asking for feedback are not your ideal clients. It’s no wonder you are met with misdirected and frustrating commentary, when all you really wanted to know is which logo or tagline they liked.
On top of that, these people are most likely not going to be in the right frame of mind to give you the honest responses you require. They are either going to be looking at the item you asked their opinion on in a critical view or a supportive view.
One will find the flaws of all the logo designs and the other will like them all trying to be a supportive friend. Either way, this is just like the back seat driver throwing around critiques like they’re going out of style. Unless they are your target client, their opinion is worthless.
Feedback dulls your brand
To make it worse, when someone offers their opinion and it is not favorable, it will shake your confidence and make you unsure how to move forward with your branding.
And if you listen to them and go back to the drawing board, you are more than likely not going to get the strongest brand. You might make your friend happy, but you’ll lose your perfect client because it is the same old-same old brand your competitors are putting out there.
When you want to stand out from the rest, you need a strong brand. Asking for feedback is just a way to conform and be safe. It is not going to cut through the noise and reach the clients you are wanting to attract.
Why you have to be clear about your brand
Graphics are a form of language and translate your message to a specific group of people you want to reach. So before you invest in a brand identity, ask yourself: What am I saying? To whom? And why?
Don’t choose graphics that you like or based on what others are doing in your industry. Get clear and specific on what you want your graphics to say to your ideal client. Only then will you know that you’re speaking their language and that your designer has translated your message correctly.
Silence the back seat drivers
Your brand is not meant to appeal to everyone. Trust your instincts, your vision, your expertise, and your brand message. Silence the back seat drivers…better yet, kick them out of your car!
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Amanda Johnson Young is a brand designer with over 20 years experience. READ MORE
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