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Techniques on how to decide on a name for your creative business

Hi guys, I have had trouble with this and am therefore going to the community for help.

As you know recently I rebranded my VLADinSACRAMENTO success to VladimirVitaliyevich. Not very smart.

After counseling with Proffesionals they told me that my name was too foreign and therefore broke the trust factor among clients. After doing some tests myself I have found this to be true.

Now here’s the task. Create a catche name but simple enough for people to understand, relate, and remember.

There are many successful freelancers and businesses using Webflow so I thought I might ask… How did you come with the name of your site and what factors did you consider?

Note: yes I have read the articles, about how to name a brand but I don’t think there as good as listening to first hand experience. :wink:

So please if you would like share your story in the comments. I am ready to read paragraphs of stories in order to get the perfect name that will stick and not be changed again. :+1:

Something I learn working in the film industry was that your name is very important even more than your business name. For example… you worked in a film studio and then you want to start your own. Now you have everything ready to start looking for clients and when you call them to offer your services you will face a hard time trying demonstrate that your business is capable to fill their needs. But if you created fame working for others then you can say Hi, I’m Vlad Vitaliyevich from mybusinessname and they think I know this guy, let me talk with him and then you will tell him that you started your own business.

They will give you a chance to work with them because they recognize you as a person not as a business.

When they need to hire someone for a project usually they say… we need a website, call vlad. Even if they know your business name. It will take time before they start saying your business name instead of your name, and sometimes it never happens, because they become friends not just costumers.

And when someone ask one of them if they know who can help with a new website. Guess what…

Call Vlad from mybusinessname, they are awesome.

Don’t underestimate the power of your name. If you think It’s hard to pronounce or hard to spell, teach them how to do it or find variations.

Hope you understand my bad english.

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Great point in the comment above. Don’t sell yourself short.
However, since you’re asking for techniques I’ll give you my experience. Naming a business is probably the most difficult and stress inducing tasks, for me anyway. Right when I believe I’ve nailed it, I do some research only to find that the name is already taken. This frustrates me to no end, but at the same time somehow validates my idea, especially if the company branded it well; which in turn frustrates me again because it makes me want that name even more! If I do choose a name that so happens to be free from use by another company, I love it for about 3 days before I begin to question it, disect it, and eventually doubt whether it’s a good name or not. Again, frustrating to no end.
Here is my process:
I’m honestly not very good at coming up with names out of thin air. I open up a Google Doc specifically for name ideas, I then share it with people I like and give them editing capabilities so that they can add to the list or comment on the names. Then, any word I see that sounds good, looks good, has a unique meaning, etc…I write it into the list. And seriously everytime I read ANYTHING, I’m always noting words. From blogs and articles to emails and books. Billboards and street signs, TV commercials, just listening to people speak. If I see a word or hear a word ANYWHERE at any time, I note it.
The list grows and grows and…grows.
Then I start to research the words I have. What do they mean, does having a meaning matter?? Most of the time I’d like it to have a meaning that’s unique, but sometimes a word just sounds good or looks good. I use a thesaurus to find similar words to the ones I like. Combine words, get creative. Get people’s feedback.
When my list gets smaller after weeding through the ones I like best, I then look at the letter structure and try to see how it would look in different typeface or how I can maybe design a logo out of it. Maybe it can be used as an acronym. I’ve completely abandoned words I’ve liked before just because I couldn’t get it to design to my liking. Eventually you settle on something, in my experience I’ve never fully embraced a chosen name because I always doubt it. You just take the leap.
Now, names are nothing. Seriously. Your work is what sells. I’ve seen companies with what I thought were awful names, then I see their branding, their design, their work, etc. I fall in love with these companies, and, before you know it I suddenly think they have the coolest name ever. Good design will do that. As long as your work is compelling, the name will work, regardless of what you choose.
I’m sure there are much better ways of naming a business, this is just my approach.

“Naming” is a task that drives me insane to my core. Try not to obsess like I do.

I’m not sure it’s the fact that your name is “foreign” – it’s just long, and it’s difficult to know how to pronounce it correctly.

How about “Vlad Vital” instead? Or just “Vital” or something along those lines? It’s a short version of your name, and “vital” is has a great double meaning in English.

It kind of sounds like a superhero’s name. :rocket:

I can also see lots of opportunity to come up with a great typographical logo using the double V.

It took me months to come up with my company’s name, which is a nonsense word (Nanatoo). I picked it because it’s playful, fun to say, and returned almost no Google search results. (Using nonsense words can make it easier to protect trademarks and copyrights.)

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Yes. You have a difficult name.

I know several Vlad’s. I actually work with a Vlad.

He happens to live and was born in the Czech Republic. (I know about the history with Russia).

In the US… everyone thinks every “Vlad” is from Russia.

And most Russians are hackers. Therefore… are not to be trusted.

You wouldn’t even want to pronounce or google my name.

If you did… it would bring up images of porn. The hard core kinda stuff.

So not a good thing for clients to google me.

Why not structure the business name… after the business… or what you do.
…Instead of your name.

For example… we build business websites. Everything we have is branded with “business websites”.

Our business cards. Our social group names. Our domains… etc

So much so… you could call me Mr Business Websites and I would turn to look at you.

Not sure if this will help any… but hey. I’m try’n.

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I kinda like that Vital word. “Vital Webdesign” or something of the like.

A while back I thought that if you can incorporate as many of the Who/What/Where/Why/When/How questions in your name, that might help. For awhile I tried “Hamilton Web Design”, kinda obvious where what what I do with a name like that. Since I didn’t market it very well, I just let that idea drop. Obviously you couldn’t use “Vlad in Sacramento Web Design Now Because You Need It with WebFlow”. Still, I think there is some sort of merit in having what you do in your name until you have developed beyond the ‘direct’ name and can simply be an obvious brand (like Google for example).

Then again, that was just an idea. These days, companies have all kinds of variety in their names, although many still have some sort of ‘misspelling’ (i.e. Klout, Fastr…).

How about “V-Design”? :slight_smile: