Business owners who work alone often ask the question whether using their name for their company name, is a good idea or not.
It is the simplest way to get started ie; turn up as your authentic self and sell what you do. It is straightforward and that has great value.
It capitalises on your reputation. You have instant credibility and trust (immediate brand equity). It also gives some indication of what makes you different and shows that you are passionate about what you do.
But if you are starting out it can be frightening to put yourself out there on such a personal level.
Modern branding is all about ‘authenticity’. Consumers want raw honesty, real people and real stories.
Customers are more likely to talk to people who have their own personal brand. They want a solution to their problems. If you fulfil that need and you are a personal brand; happy days.
The big brands have understood and become more human personalities. They want what their audience wants ie; Harley Davidson represents the corporate man breaking free of the mundane life.
The downside to using your own name
How does your potential audience recognise you if they do not know you personally? A limitation is that strangers do not get an immediate indication of who you are.
There could be practical issues ie: your name may be difficult to read or pronounce, your name has a meaning which is not associated with your business.
It could possibly limit growth because your business will always be associated with you alone.
It could also be a missed opportunity to define what you actually do. A good business name will be a memory aid for your audience. If it’s memorable, it shows some character and it defines what you do, is working well.
Part of the branding process is to create a business name that reflects your brand personality.
A business brand with a relatable name can make what you stand for much clearer but it will take more time to generate a reputation.
For example, you are a Business Coach. If you use your personal name, your potential audience will only know you as one of many. If your audience is specific ie; Healthcare industry, you can relate to them far better with a relevant business name. They will already recognise themselves as part of your audience.
If you are running a business you become a manager and you may stop doing the work you actually enjoy. But if you have surrounded yourself with a business brand, then you have some room to manoeuvre. You can choose what you do/don’t do. And if necessary you can sell the business and its reputation.
If you solely running a personal brand, you do not have the option. You ‘are’ the brand. You cannot sell it on.
In conclusion both serve a different purpose. Many people will develop their personal brand alongside a business brand.
Contact us if you would like to discuss your business name.