What's in a name? Your reputation

April 11, 2016 - Tags: Marketing

When you use your own name in your branding, your personal reputation and the reputation of the business are inevitably linked. In some cases, using your own name might be a great benefit, especially if you have a positive personal reputation in your community. In other cases, it could present a challenge — separating your personal and professional presence on social media, for example. How do you make the best decision for yourself and for the business?

Any networking you do (in person or online) will benefit both you and your business, because your names will always be linked. The same goes for brand recognition; if people like your business and what it offers, they will associate that positivity with you. However, if there are problems with the business which lead to unhappy customers or employees, it could negatively affect your personal reputation. Is that a risk you're willing to take?

If you work alone, or plan to be very hands-on with the business, you may want to have more personal association with your brand and its promotion than if the personal touch is less important. If you ever decide to sell your business or retire, or if you work with a team and want to promote the group's expertise as a whole, you may not want to overemphasize your own involvement.

Do you intend to grow the business? If so, you may need more descriptive branding. Let's say you live in a small town and plan to sell your eco-friendly skin care products locally. You might name your business after yourself (first and last name) because people know you as a hard-working person who cares about the environment. However, if you want to expand, and get brand recognition beyond local retail, you might choose something like “First name's All-Natural Soaps” so customers feel a personal connection, but also know what you sell.

Being ‘the face' of your brand may help your authenticity, but it also requires a lot of consideration. You'll want to carefully consider your options before naming your business. After all, it's not just your work; it's your reputation.

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