Earlier this week, I outlined a few of my tips for choosing a dynamic name for your business. I couldn’t fit all my tips in one post, so I’m back here today with Part II (as well as a personal story about my own blog name).
6. Consider the letterforms.
This tip comes from more of a graphic design standpoint, but consider the letterforms that make up your name. Can they easily be turned into a logo? The Fedex and Amazon.com logos are great examples of logos that have clever hidden meanings. (More logo inspiration here.)
7. Don’t overthink it.
I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. I am a professional over-thinker who sweats the small stuff. That’s just my nature and I think that a lot of creative entrepreneurs are wired the same way as I am. Last quarter at SCAD, I had a project for my Graphic Design class where I had to name and brand a mock business. When my professor read my brand brief, his first reaction was I got WAY too conceptual in my choice of name and it was bound to sail right over people’s oblivious heads. All the hours, days, WEEKS I spent agonizing over a name for a company that wasn’t even REAL was all for naught. Sure, a name is important. But by the end of the day, you CAN make most names work for your business with successful branding. There are a lot of companies whose names don’t make sense but we’re so used to them that we don’t question the logic of the name. For example, have you ever stopped and wondered what hulu means? What about zynga?
8. Choose a name that stands the test of time.
Don’t use a name/word that’s trendy or ‘in’ at the moment. Ask yourself if the word will be just as popular 5-10 years down the road. For example, the word ‘hustle’ is popular right now. But what happens if in 10 years ‘hustle’ is equivalent to groovy? When in doubt, go with something that’s timeless.
And now for my story: People often ask me where I get ‘Drifter & the Gypsy’ from. I started this blog in 2008, when I was 14 and had just started high school. As with most teenagers of that age, I felt a bit lost and unsure of where true passion lay. I felt like a drifter. I wanted another word that would make an alliteration. That led me to come up with ‘gypsy.’ bada bing bada boom. Originally my blog was The Drifter and the Gypsy, but I felt like the first ‘The’ made the name too long, so two years ago (when I switched blogging platforms), I simplified the name to Drifter & the Gypsy. If I had to start alllll over, I’d probably pick a shorter name, but I was only 14 when I named my blog and I didn’t know I’d still be blogging all these years later. I’ve gone through much self-hate over the name Drifter & the Gypsy. (Yes that’s right: For a while I didn’t even like my OWN blog name). But over the past few months, people have told me how much they love the name Drifter & the Gypsy, which really surprised me (in a good way, of course). Case in point? I am my own worst critic. We are all are own worst critics. So let’s not be too hard on ourselves, m’kay?
Just remember, you can’t name yourself, but you CAN name your business. So make it a good one (to avoid having to rename your business!), but don’t stress out about it toooo much. There are very successful companies that break some of these rules, so don’t think you have to follow everything to a T. Just pick a name and let good branding do the rest.
If you have a blog/personal business, did you have a lot of trouble coming up with a name? Or perhaps you have a funny story of how your name came about? I shared my story, now it’s time for you to share yours!
Did you miss the first part of this series? Click here to read Part I.
Photograph by Katrina