Why My Brand is Built Around My Name

When I was a little girl, I hated the name Lauren.  Maybe it was my obsession with make-believe or a mini identity crisis, but either way, one year at Christmas time I announced to my family that I no longer wanted to be called Lauren anymore.  I thought this was a genius idea until my Pappy arrived at our house the night before Christmas with all of my presents labeled “To Becky.”  What I realized that I hadn’t done was tell my family a name that I want to be called… or my grandfather just picked on my middle name because he’s not always a great listener anyway.  In any case, seeing on paper (delightful Christmas paper to be exact) that my name was no longer Lauren changed my attitude.  I didn’t want to be called something that I’m not.

So often as creatives we want just that- to be creative and to come up with a unique name for our business.  I’ve had quite a few people reach out to me lately asking what they should name their business.  If I’m being honest, when I first started my business, if I hadn’t gone with my name, it would probably have something to do with burlap in it, and now I’d be pretty happy if the only burlap I saw was on those cute potato sacks.  I can see the temptation, of creativity and seeking to be unique, but I have to say, creating a brand is kind of like getting a tattoo.  I feel like once you get started, you can only add to it and morph it in new directions, but it never truly goes away.  Your brand is so much more than just a logo or a web presence- it’s a reputation and an experience.  Who’s offering this? You are!

When you’re creating your business, you’re the person who’s answering emails to potential clients.  It’s your words that either make them feel comfortable or realize that you might not be the best fit for each other.  It’s you who stays up far too late and puts in more hours than you should into this little dream called a business.  Why wouldn’t you be proud enough to put your name on it?!  Besides that, if you choose to focus on who you are, and let the world know who that is, you will find much more genuine clients who are seeking you for you!   You’ll also be able to better evolve your brand (and your web presence) as you grow! Over the last three years, I’ve learned so much about what I do and don’t want to do with this dream! If I had become “Burlap Photography” what would I have done?! (** Not hating on burlap photography, it’s just not who I am now!)

Now I’m not saying that everyone should just use your name as your business, but here are a few reasons why you could choose to:

  • You will always be offering your clients a relationship and not just a business transaction. When you choose to add a human to the business, people are seeking to connect more with you.  This offers more genuine interactions and a much better experience for your client and for you, too!
  • As you change and your style adapts, your brand can adapt quickly too! Building a brand that’s based off of you is much easier to change because it evolves when you ask it to and as you show the changes.  A different kind of name for your business can be rather limiting at times.  For example, when I started my business, my favorite color was coral and so that’s what I used for all of my business collateral- logo, pops of it on the blog, and in my client experiences.  Now I still like the color coral and have a pop of it here on my current website, but its become more sophisticated as my work has pushed in a more elegant approach.  Does that make sense?  If I had named myself “Coral Photography”, again I might be out of luck!
  • You don’t have to know who you are just yet.  One of the biggest struggles that any new business owner experiences is finding their own style.  I remember in my first year of business I would read almost daily about defining your style-find your style, they said!  Well, I’m here to tell you that the only way that can happen is if you take your time.  Your style should never be completely stagnant and you should always be pushing yourself as an artist!  Building that takes effort and patience!  If you’re trying to determine a brand that’s going to last you more than a year, finding one that has your name as a part of it is super important because it waits with you.

If you were to choose to use a fun and creative name for your business, think of it like a tattoo.  Once you start with it, you likely can’t remove it all together, so think wisely about it!

And just because every post is better with a pretty picture, here’s a little eye-candy to reward you for making it all the way through :)

Bolling Haxall House Neutral Wedding-3



August 13, 2015

comments +

  1. ashton says:

    I love that you expanding on this! I find it hard to put into words sometimes why I’ve branded off my name versus something catchy, but this totally nailed it. :)

  2. Brea says:

    Yes yes yes. SO much yes. I feel like this is especially so for photographers. Most other businesses don’t quite evolve as we do, but as our skills improve, our styles change, and the brand changes as a result of that! I just rebranded 2 years ago and I already feel like it doesn’t reflect my photography anymore as I’ve learned more about OCF and have moved towards a more bold and bright editing style. It’s crazy how fast that changes! But the one thing that hasn’t changed is ME. Thank goodness my brand is based on me.

    And all of the tattoo metaphors totally resonate with me as well – given that I’ve gone down that road as well!

  3. Alicia Wiley says:

    Love this post. I started my business as a different name because I wasn’t married yet. We were engaged but I still felt it was inappropriate to run a business as Mrs. Wiley before I actually was her.

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Wife, mama, wielder of light & joy, and capturer of moments.  I thrive off of conversation and genuine connection.  In between wrangling our kiddos, and hanging my husband, you'll find me dreaming up my next idea or creative endeavour.  It's these things that culminate to give my imagery a warmth and joy to them - the greatest compliment I could receive.







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