Tips and Advice, Work

Building Your Brand: Choosing Your Name

We’re continuing the “Building Your Brand” series with something that seems obvious but could actually hold a lot of people up from launching their product or service. In part one we discussed the importance of finding your niche and how it will set you apart from the crowd. In part two we went over all the steps to take to nail your aesthetic, from picking colors to actually describing the feeling you want your brand to give to your followers. Today, we are doing perhaps the simplest, but potentially most difficult step: choosing a name.

This goes without saying: your platforms need a name. You should keep this name consistent across all platforms so you are easy to find and search for. While you don’t want to make this decision too quickly, you also don’t want to sit on this for weeks on end. Coming up with excuses as to why you don’t like options for names could set you back big time when it comes to launching your brand. The longer you wait, the longer it will take for you to find success.

There are essentially two schools of thought when it comes to naming your brand, or two trends that I’ve noticed: you can use your own personal name, or you don’t. There are arguments as to why either option is better, and there are certainly pros and cons that I may not even be aware of, but for now, let’s go over the basic arguments for each:

Using your own name:

  • Hyper-personal, not easy to copy from another blog/YouTube channel/IG account, and on the other hand, difficult to be copied in the future
  • Good option when you want yourself to be the face of the brand in a way that all the content that you produce revolves around you and your activities, opinions, favorites, etc.
  • Con: Could be difficult for followers to understand what your niche is at first. It’s difficult to know just by someone’s name what their platform is all about.

NOT using your own name:

  • If you come up with something super clever, it can really set your brand apart
  • Allows the brand to be “bigger” than just yourself (I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here in a moment)
  • Con: This is more difficult and could take longer if you decide to not use your name.

My personal opinion is, unless you already have an ultra-clever name ready to go, you’re better off incorporating your own name into the brand (clearly this is the option I went for). I’ve heard the argument that using your own name ‘limits’ the brand to just one person and that it’s more tricky when you want to grow and expand. To that point, I’ll call to attention brands like Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, Calvin Klein, and Tom Ford. These brands are not only universally identifiable, but they are all directly named after a real person, using their actual name. So don’t be afraid to utilize your own name if you’re indecisive!

Picking a name for your brand can almost feel like getting married: there’s no going back! Fear not: the great advantage to not having a huge following in the beginning is that you can change your name if you don’t like it, and chances are, not a lot of people will notice!!

I encourage you to look up companies and brands you admire and research the history behind the names of each one. Some companies were simply named after their founder, while other companies had more bizarre and unique paths to picking a name.

Take ten minutes and come up with a list of words or phrases that resonate with you. Use your niche as a reference! Revisit the list every day for a week and eliminate the words or phrases that no longer resonate. After a week, pick a name and run with it!

And I’ll see you in Part Four of the “Building Your Brand” series!

xo Carly

Read Part One here

Read Part Two here

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