When it comes to naming your business, this is a serious matter. So, what is in a name? Just about everything! Your brand is identified with you, as a person and a business. If you search for this topic online, you will be given all kinds of advice as to all the “do’s” and “don’ts” when naming your company. This can drive you absolutely crazy!
This post isn’t really going to delve into the entire process, but I don’t want to leave you with zero information either. So, to get you started thinking in the right direction, ask yourself this one question, “Do you want to stand out or fit in?” I have found that many just simplify the process and name the business after themselves and be done with it. Is that the best you can do? Is it the right thing to do for you?
To answer that question, consider the following:
- What are your long and short-term goals for your business?
- What is your vision for your business? Where do you want to take it? Locally? Nationwide? International? Build it and sell it? Pass it on to other family members?
- What industry is your business in? If you look around, most photographers just use their own name. Their main commodity is the person behind the camera, the artist. If your main focus however, is a product or service, you may want to go with a business name that can be sold one day.
You will find that this will be just the tip of the iceberg as they say. If you really get stuck or want a shortcut to the process, many have found a very reasonable solution by enlisting the help of a company called Namella. (Not an affiliate link). As always, I suggest you read the reviews and do your due diligence prior to paying for any online products or services. Best wishes on an amazing new name and brand!
Selective Moments In Time
For many years, I helped others with their business start-ups, document filings, branding, and so on. I helped make several people a lot of money. When my life circumstances changed, I saw a whole new road lay ahead; a chance to make a fresh start. It was so exciting! What did I want to do with this new perspective? Quite honestly, with all I knew and experienced in my life, I could do almost anything! What more could a person want?
I reflected upon all the things I had done. What did I enjoy the most? (Notice I didn’t focus on what made me the most money). I wanted to truly enjoy the rest of my life. If I drew upon my passion, my experience, my knowledge, and my past… what was it that stood out? I knew I had to choose something that let me be creative — to play with colors, different mediums, let me enjoy nature and the beauty that I see in the world. I wanted to feel excited with each new project.
“To speak technically photography is the art of writing with light. But if I want to think about it more philosophically, I can say that photography is the art of writing with time. When you capture an image you capture not only a piece of space, you also capture a piece of time. So you have this piece of specific time in your square or rectangle. In that sense I find that photography has more to do with time than with light.” - Gerardo Suter self-taught photographer and artist
Thus, photography chose me. What was it about photography? Digital photography allows you the ultimate ability to be creative. What is photography about technically? Time and light. It would be challenging. Exactly what I wanted to keep me vital, growing, learning… alive.
My thought process when naming my business was I wanted something suggestive rather than descriptive. As I stated above, I could have followed suit with other photographers and just used my name, but there are more facets to me, more directions I may want to go with in the future.
Thinking about a long-term approach, I created my business name around my product instead of my name. For example, the first time I heard about “Google,” I thought it sounded funny. Now, it’s a common household word (but still funny). Google has unlimited flexibility as a brand. It isn’t descriptive nor suggestive of an internet search engine. The same thing with “Amazon.” They aren’t locked in to just one product or service.
With my company name, I didn’t use the word “photography.” I wanted more options in the future. What if I decided to go back into videography? Graphics? Painting? I wanted a flexible name but one that would zero in on what my purpose is: to capture a moment in time.
It won’t matter what medium I use, it’s about my “intention,” the “capture.” I am very selective about what my artwork says about me. I’m picky! So I knew early in the process I wanted the word “selective” in it. I wanted the world to know that I don’t just put anything out there and hope someone will buy it. I want to put my “best” work out there for people to enjoy.
When you think about it, in the end, we are a collection of memories, events, moments in time. Time is a major factor in my profession. Think of a sunset. Every second of the sun’s setting changes the view, the lighting, the colors. It’s beautiful! Other than just the lovely memory, how can you capture that very moment that seems unforgettable? That’s what I wanted to do. This was my process for my business name.
Your brand should capture the attention of your intended market. It should have “stickiness,” be the first place they go when they need whatever your product or service is.
Your business name shouldn’t be obscure or just gimmicky, it should mean something to you. Use your intuition, your instincts are usually correct. Whether you are coming up with the name yourself or using a naming service, use your intuition to make sure it “fits” you. After all, your business name will be synonymous with you! It really doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks, it matters what you think. If you find over time that your business name no longer fits, you can always rename it. Nothing is carved in stone.