Should you name a business after yourself? There are situations where naming a business after yourself seems to make perfect sense. If you’re the heart and soul of your company, using your name as a brand can be an excellent way to create a human connection with your audience.
However, using your name as a business name won’t always be the best way to develop a long-standing identity. Sometimes, your name can end up restricting the growth of your organization, and creating confusion about what your brand really stands for.
Since choosing the ideal name for your brand is one of the most important things you’ll do in establishing your company’s identity, it’s important not to rush into the decision.
Taking your time to consider the positives and negatives of naming your organization after yourself could save you a lot of headaches in the long-term.
Naming a business after yourself: An introduction
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to developing a memorable brand. This means the question, “should you name your business after yourself?” has many possible answers.
Some experts advise never choosing your own name as your brand identity, because it’s simply not memorable enough. A person’s name just isn’t as impactful as a custom-created title for your venture.
However, there are pros and cons to using your name as a business name, depending on the situation. Even research into the psychology of branding and business naming provides contrasting views.
One paper on choosing the perfect name, published by the University of Oklahoma says using your own name as your business name can generate a 3% higher return on assets. Another report into the same naming strategy says eponymous firms are 8% less profitable than their counterparts.
So, what’s the truth?
Simply put, the value of naming your business after yourself will depend on the nature of your business. An eponymous name can make a firm seem more personal and human, but it can limit potential growth.
A name with no connection to the founder’s name can be more flexible, but it’s also less likely to form an immediate emotional connection.
The pros of using your name as a business name
Despite common belief, there are some benefits to choosing your own name as your business name. Naming a business after yourself immediately gives your company a sense of humanity.
It’s easier to imagine yourself connecting with “Phil” from “Phil’s Computers” than it is to perceive a connection with the “Apple” company at a glance.
Using your name as a brand can also be a lot easier than searching for a new name from scratch. There are a lot of challenges involved in naming a business, and many companies will struggle to find the perfect title on their own.
The benefits of using your personal name as your company name include:
Using your own name as a business name takes a lot less time and effort than figuring out a new name from scratch.
You don’t have to spend forever figuring out which names will work for your company or go through the frustrating process of learning the name you’ve chosen doesn’t work in every country.
Using your name can make things simpler for clients too, because there’s no confusion about who they’re working with.
Combine your professional and personal brand
If you’re the number one person at the heart of your business, then it makes sense to build your company around your identity.
If you’re a professional attorney working as a one-person freelancer, or a graphic designer, you want people to form a connection with you more than anything else.
Giving your company your name is a great way to form an instant connection and ensure you’re instantly recognizable for the work you do.
Finding a company name capable of suitably capturing the entire brand essence and message of your organization isn’t easy.
When you’re using your name as a brand name, there’s less to worry about when it comes to authenticity. You don’t have to worry as much about what kind of message you’re actually sending.
Building a sense of connection
As mentioned above, naming a company after yourself is an excellent way to create a sense of personality and humanity in your business. It’s a reminder your organization isn’t just a money-making entity, there’s also a real person behind the logo.
Sometimes, this connection will help you to capture more long-term relationships with clients.
The cons of using your name as a brand
Of course, there are possible downsides to using your name as a brand identity. When asking yourself “should you name a business after yourself?” it’s worth think about the kind of company you’re trying to create.
Do you really want the organization to be all about you? Or do you need to shift the focus to the products you sell or the benefits you can provide?
Some of the most significant downsides to using your name as a business name include:
Heavy focus on you
When you name your business after yourself, the entire reputation of the company will also rest on the personal brand you build for yourself.
This means anything you say online or offline could harm your company. There’s a lot of pressure to ensure the message you’re sending to the world is right for your company.
Lack of memorability
The chances are, you’ve already met someone else with a similar name to you. Somewhere else in the modern world, you’ll probably discover another person with the exact same title.
This makes it hard to differentiate your name from the dozens of other similar names out there. A less unique name isn’t very memorable.
Your name might change
Depending on your approach to marriage and relationships, there’s a good chance your name could change over time.
Legally switching the name of your business if something in your personal life changes can be a time-consuming, expensive, and challenging process. Most people would rather avoid the headache.
It limits growth
Naming your business after yourself is a good way to build a personal connection between yourself and your clients. However, it also means everyone you do business with will expect to be working with you directly.
If you end up bringing other people into the team, this can make it hard to distribute tasks effectively. Naming your business after yourself can make it hard to scale and bring on new talent.
Should I name my business after myself?
So, should you name a business after yourself? The answer depends on a number of factors. The process of naming a business can be very complex. You need to find a title capable of representing what your company stands for, its vision, mission, and brand promise.
At the same time, you want something memorable, unique, and easy for people to connect with.
Using your name as a business name has its benefits. It’s simple and straightforward, capable of capturing audience attention with a human air, and perfect for strengthening client connections.
There are plenty of examples of leading brands with their own name as their business name, such as Walt Disney, Harley Davidson, and John Deere.
However, not every company was designed to use an eponymous name. Sometimes, using your own name as your business name can come across as boasting, or vanity. Other times, it simply highlights your company as not very creative, and makes it harder for your audience to remember you.
In certain circumstances, a human name as a brand name is even unprofessional.
The name “John’s Computers” isn’t nearly as professional as “Windows”, for instance. It’s often possible to make your title seem a little more sophisticated by using a surname rather than a first name, as this is a more formal approach in most countries.
However, you’ll still be impaired by the limited scalability of a human name.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to choosing your brand name. The best thing you can do is think carefully about what kind of image you want to build for your company. And, if necessary, contact a professional naming agency, like Fabrik.
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