July 29, 2021

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Ought to You Identify Your Enterprise After Your self?

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their very own.

Again in February, I wrote an article about whether or not to make use of your individual title for your online business (or product) or create a brand new model title. I offered 5 causes to take the latter method—creating a brand new title—together with the looks of scale and a possibility to specific related concepts by means of the title. However I used to be cautious to state within the opening paragraph that “both path can work, and deciding which is best for you depends upon a spread of non-public components.” As a counterpoint to my earlier article, I’ve listed 5 situations under during which utilizing your private title could be the wiser path. On the finish of the article, you’ll discover a desk that summarizes some execs and cons of naming a enterprise after your self versus creating a brand new model.

Once you’re already well-known

Granted, Kim Kardashian and Tiger Woods in all probability don’t want this recommendation, however you needn’t be a world superstar to have a reputation meaning one thing to your potential clients. In case you’re well-known otherwise you’ve constructed a following in your area of interest or neighborhood—or when you can commerce on the fame constructed by previous generations of your loved ones—utilizing your individual title could present a shortcut to success.

Associated: The way to Identify a Enterprise (Begin Your Personal Enterprise)

Notice, nevertheless, that mere fame is just not the one consideration. Folks could know your title, however have they got a constructive response after they hear it? And is your title related to the products and providers you intend to promote, or are you identified for one thing else? Getting some goal opinions on these questions will enable you decide whether or not a model carrying your private title will blossom or backfire.

When your objective is to construct a private model

What’s your marketing strategy? The place will the income come from? How will you develop the model? Possibly you’re launching a enterprise purely to get observed by potential employers, to grow to be a micro-influencer, or to pursue paid talking gigs. In case your main objective in constructing a enterprise is to create a private model, utilizing your individual title makes extra sense. (No touch upon the knowledge of this plan, nevertheless.)

When your title is straightforward

Will folks have the ability to spell and pronounce your title? Is it comparatively brief and simple to say? Have in mind the place you’ll be doing enterprise and what languages your clients could converse. In case you have a reputation that’s generally spelled in a handful of the way, like Katherine (or Catherine, Katharine, or Kathryn), clients could have bother remembering which spelling to make use of. If folks usually mispronounce your title (“Might-erson” as an alternative of “My-erson,” for instance), you would lose out on a bit of name consciousness that you simply’d in any other case construct by means of phrase of mouth. Positive, we’ve all realized to pronounce Ghirardelli, Hermès, and Porsche—or to constantly mispronounce them, at the very least—however why burden your clients with a tongue tornado when you can keep away from it?

Associated: The Unwritten Guidelines of Naming Your Enterprise

That mentioned, when you do know pronounce the names above, you might acknowledge that this recommendation comes with a few caveats. First off, difficult-looking names are generally extra enjoyable to say, and having a reputation folks wish to repeat out loud is unquestionably an excellent factor for any model. Secondly, with the ability to pronounce a perplexing title makes you are feeling like an insider—such as you’re a member of an unique membership (that is aware of to say “Air-mez” as an alternative of “Her-meez”). So, think about these factors rigorously—in case your title isn’t easy, take into consideration whether or not it’s enjoyable to say and whether or not you’re ready to make your viewers work laborious to get it proper. (Trace: Most firms aren’t.)

When your title is uncommon (however nonetheless easy sufficient)

Easy is nice, however widespread is just not. “Jack” is simple to say and laborious to misspell. In case you’re a Jack, you might be tempted to call your restaurant “Jack’s Burgers.” However when you do, you’ll be competing towards about 150 different eating places with trademarked “Jack” names already on file with the USA Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO).

Rarity have to be measured within the context of an trade. Regulation companies historically go along with their companions’ surnames, leading to names that seem like they have been chosen by throwing darts at a phonebook. Because of this, even your final title is Skedaddle, when you’ve paired it with an ampersand and an “LLP,” it’s more likely to mix in towards a backdrop of Swaines, Skaddens, Sonsinis, Steptoes, and Seyfarths.

Probably the most essential components for figuring out whether or not a model title will succeed—whether or not it’s a private title or not—is memorability. To be memorable, your title should strike an ideal stability: easy sufficient to stay within the thoughts, however uncommon sufficient to face out.

When your title has built-in which means or imagery

Some founders’ names are virtually too good to be true. J.S. Good and H.D. Closing, founders of Good & Closing grocery shops, had final names with related, built-in which means. Fox Racing, a California-based excessive sports activities and clothes model, is just not solely named after its founder, Geoff Fox, but additionally makes use of his title as inspiration for its fox-head brand.

First and final names which can be additionally actual phrases are particularly attention-grabbing as potential model names, however names that aren’t actual phrases can nonetheless convey which means. In case your title incorporates or feels like an actual phrase, utilizing it could hyperlink your model to associated ideas. For instance, a reputation containing “stone” might counsel power. A reputation with “hart” may suggest ardour or empathy.

Associated: 8 Errors to Keep away from When Naming Your Enterprise

Then once more, the surname “Stonehart” might suggest a scarcity of emotion or lack of ability to care. Earlier than getting too excited concerning the constructive connotations of your title, remember to think about its potential downsides as nicely. I’d purchase Stonehart model electrical guitar strings, however I’d hesitate earlier than leaving my youngsters on the Stonehart Childcare Middle.

Nonetheless unsure whether or not to call your model after your self or provide you with an authentic model title? See the desk under for a handful of execs and cons for every method. In case you’re on the fence, I like to recommend going by means of a naming course of as when you’ll create one thing new, then taking a step again and asking your self which can greatest enable you obtain the targets you’ve set out to your model—the brand new names you’ve created or your private title?

Naming the Model After Your self


  • Retains the concentrate on you/your private model
  • Creates a extra private connection; a extra “genuine” really feel
  • Faster and simpler than arising with one thing new


  • Feels like a smaller firm/model
  • Lacks distinctiveness
  • Could make it more durable to promote your organization (or you might lose management of your title)
  • Fails to specific any which means (apart from linking the model to you)
  • Might pigeonhole you or hurt your fame if the enterprise fails

Creating an Authentic Model Identify


  • Suggests scale (aggressive benefit)
  • Gives extra flexibility/stretchability
  • Lets you specific concepts by means of the title
  • Simpler to spell/pronounce
  • Extra distinctive
  • Creates some “daylight” between you and the enterprise


  • Requires a radical naming course of (will be time-consuming and costly)
  • Might sound impersonal, chilly
  • Folks could have stronger opinions about your model title (a few of them damaging)


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