What do Hewlett-Packard, Armani, Bacardi, Cadbury, Calvin Klein, Fazer, Ford Motors and McDonald’s have in common? That’s right, all of these brands have been named after their founders.
Naming a company after oneself is a very common practice in the business world. Many service providers, e.g. law and accounting firms, do it. It is the easiest way to save time and avoid the trouble of developing a unique name for your business. It looks professional and in most cases the .com domain is also available, so why not? After all, even branding consultants have adopted the practice.
Stop and consider a moment
While there are many success stories and even more advantages in giving a personal name to a business, in a longer term perspective it might not be the wisest strategy. Of course, there are cases when naming a business after yourself is the best solution, but in these instances the primary motivation does not usually stand behind lack of money or time.
It is advisable to take a look at some of the following aspects. What if at one point you want to sell your business? In all likelihood the buyer does not see the benefits in operating under someone else’s name. However, once the brand has already been established in the consumer’s mind, it is very difficult (not to mention expensive) to change the name. OR. What if you decide to expand your business abroad? In a different culture, your name may be difficult to pronounce or spell, damaging your brand awareness and memorability.
The most important disadvantage, however, is that using your own personal name derives you from the opportunity to develop a catchy, impactful and easily memorable brand name that conveys the message you want to send out. A good brand name may give some idea of what your company does, how it does it, who the target customer is or what distinguishes your business from others in the same field. These messages are vital in establishing your brand’s identity, since they give people some indication with which to relate the business.
If you are unsure what sort of a name you should go for, see what your competitors are doing. In many areas, personal names, such as in the case of doctors whose company’s success is closely related to their own reputation, are widely accepted. On the other hand, do not be discouraged by the time and energy you need to put into crafting an entirely new brand name. After all, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.