Tips you can take to save you the time, trial and error I went through...
When I 'started' my own business a few years ago, I tried my best with what I knew at the time, but I was only just beginning my massive learning journey. And what I've learned and experienced is worth your time reading...
What I didn't know (that I know now) when I chose my business name 3 years ago...
When I first chose my business name, I was only just starting to learn more about marketing, business and branding...
I had finished my Bachelor degree in Biomedical Science and was half way through my Masters in Medical Research. I was going to Med school, but I felt like I was meant do be doing something else, just didn't know yet what that was.
At the time I registered my first business, I was just starting my training to deliver coaching programs - and I had to register my own business so I could work as a Coach.
I wanted to choose a business name that would accomodate for any projects or directions I ever decided to do or follow. I still wasn't that sure of what my niche would be or what I was going to really end up doing.
So I came up with "Maze Compass". Maze being our life in general - we hit walls and see no end then have to turn around, go back a few steps and try a different direction. Compass being something to assist us in navigating the freaking maze (which is annoying and frustrating to navigate, as we all know)...
I thought I had come up with a great name, but here are the 3 reasons why I now have changed it to my own name...
1) Ease of Brand Name
Whenever I said the name "Maze Compass" to people, they NEVER understood it the first time. I always had to repeat myself.
It usually took people a few seconds to realise the whole point/meaning of the name (and to be honest, only a few of them actually 'got it' and thought it was really cool)...
I know my name isn't the easiest to understand or remember - "Flavia Cabanne" - but I was dealing with introducing myself and hoping people would remember me, on top of a complicated business name.
My name alone is enough...I'll always be introducing myself, so might as well stick to only one complicated element in the process.
2) Becoming a Reference
In the type of work I do, it's much better to deal with a person and a face rather than a brand name that is abstract. I help people who run businesses - Entrepreneurs, business owners, managers etc...
I help them be able to execute the things they need to execute to make the business grow and prosper, in the most stress-free and efficient way for THEM.
So it's not just all business, it does get a bit personal. Plus, not many people out there do what I'm doing. I've developed something to cater for a gap in the market and my work is heavily based on me delivering a service and interacting with people.
It made sense for me to brand myself and spread MY NAME through my work, to become a reference in the field at some stage. It won't matter how many different programs I create. If my name has a good reputation, my programs will keep doing well. By putting my name to it, I build trust, a reputation for caring and I'm guaranteeing the level of quality of service I am committed to always deliver.
3) Organising & Developing
My reputation with my own name in the field will matter at some stage in the future. That will support me in branding my different courses/programs I come to develop. In the mean time I'll get people to know about me, build trust, see that I really do care and that I am always committed to my integrity and quality of service/products I provide.
Just like Marie Forleo has B School and Copy Cure, for example. You know those programs are amazing, because she wouldn't take your money for anything less than amazing. She has built a name and reputation for herself as a trusted professional and respected reference in her field.
Yes, when you put your own name to it, the stakes are higher. But I'm here to deliver services and programs that actually help people out. I'm not here to waste anybody's time or money, ever, because I'm not that kind of person.
Once my name starts to "mean something", whatever projects I develop will have that security/guarantee of quality and trust that will come with my name. I can develop any brand, product, book or whatever I decide to do, knowing I will always have my integrity and commitment to quality for the people I serve.
Make sure you take this with ya
your brand/business name should be easy for people to understand/say/spell/remember.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: not the easiest name to handle but he made his mark by working on this branding.
If you are a service provider, consider making your mark in your field based on your name, rather than an abstract brand name.
Even if you work under an "umbrella" brand, remember that customers/clients can still choose who they hire. it's best to market yourself under your own name - then no matter where you are or what you are doing, people will always find you.
"If your name is your brand, all your projects will eventually succeed - as long as you prioritise your integrity at all times." - Flavia Cabanne