Choosing Your Name. Why Create a Personal Brand?

When you started your business did you consider creating a ‘personal’ brand? 

If your business is about selling dog toys, or perhaps you own a multi-person service business, you likely have a catchy or memorable name for your business.  For example, Playchewa Dog Toys, or The Intela Group (I totally made those up).  This makes a lot of sense.  You may be the creative brains behind the brand, but ultimately it’s not about you and most of us hope to create a brand that endures and maybe, just maybe, you will sell your business and retire to your mega mansion or private island retreat.  Fingers crossed!

That being said, if your new business is all about you… then perhaps make your new brand personal!  What do I mean?

I’m talking about using your name as the name of your business. 

When might you do this?

If you are your business, and it’s all about you, then this really works.  If you are selling your unique ideas, your expertise or even something tangible like your paintings… then why not use your name?

It’s yours, you already use it and it will be the easiest thing for people to remember.  

I know some of you might hate your name, and you don’t have to use it.  Maybe you think it is far too long and in this case, I might suggest you consider a version of your name, maybe shorten it. 

Your “brand voice” is how you, as a business owner or entrepreneur, express your business personality in your writing style, language, and tone. It is the distinct persona or identity of your brand that shines through in the words and phrases you use, and which allows you to stand out from other brands. If your brand voice is distinct enough, your followers should be able to recognize you in your writing even if there was no name or logo on it.

Your Brand Is Like Your House

When people are expecting company, they give their house an ‘extra’ cleaning. They make sure that the living room and kitchen, bathroom and front entrance look ‘perfect’.  They want the first impression to be welcoming and they want their guests to see the best version of the way they live.  Most people are not likely to take visitors down to the basement, out to garage, or show them their closets.

It’s the same with your branding and your website.

Your website is where your visitors will get to know your Brand. And just like the new visitors to your home, you want to make a great first impression! They won’t be staying long, unless you give them a compelling reason to stay.  Therefore, you need to have a plan.

I say start with a design (blueprint), next build your brand (foundation), then you can build a solid website (house). Another way of looking at it is to build the website, to house your brand. A beautiful place to show it off. Without the blueprint and the foundation though, the house will eventually fall down!

Here is another way to look at it is this: You don’t usually choose the paint colour until all the cabinets are installed, and furniture is in and floors are done.  There is a natural order to things and when you try to do things backwards, you make things more difficult for yourself and you simply end up doing them again.

You might have heard the phrase “building a brand”.

You need to understand what it is you want to do with your business.  Take time to consider who your clients really are, why they should choose you, what their pain points are and how YOU are going to help them.

Once you’ve established who they are and what they look like, you should find it easier to get clearer on what you think they will be attracted to. Building your brand is not often as simple as finding a font you like, picking your favourite colour and drawing a picture of a heart or a star… and calling it a day.

You may be the kind of person who really loves bright colours and busy designs, but will your ideal client be able to relate?  For example, if you own a meditation studio, most people will be looking for a Zen, calming vibe. They may not relate well to hectic and busy. If your brand doesn’t match your business… it may be memorable, but not in a positive way.

You need to think about style, textures, colours. Where will people find your logo? Will it be used in print, on giant painted signs. Or, will it be in the tiniest of places, like pens or matchbook covers? Do you need it for letterhead, or will it simply be on your website, social media posts and perhaps just a business card?

Consider all this when designing your logo, and your website will follow.

Next time, my top tips for logo design.