Should You Use Your Own Name or Create a Brand Name for Your Business?

Should You Use Your Own Name or Create a Brand Name for Your Business?

A friend and ex-colleague of mine recently left her full-time job and started freelancing as a consultant. Like any freelancer seeking new business opportunities, she planned to create a website showcasing her past work and detailing her capabilities. But first, she had to answer a critical question: Should she create a new to represent her business or simply use her own name? Since I run a brand consulting agency with one full-time employee (me), she asked for my advice.

No matter what kind of freelance work you’re doing – from brand consultant to bookkeeper – this is a question you’ll have to answer. Using your personal name means presenting yourself as an individual contributor and keeping the focus on you. Coming up with a brand name, on the other hand, will require a thorough naming process and will create some “daylight” between you and the business. Either path can work, and deciding which is right for you depends on a range of personal factors. I’ve outlined five reasons below to take the first approach: creating a new brand name for your freelance business.

A brand name suggests scale

In the past, many companies took on their founder’s . Think Lipton, Ford, or . But these companies’ modern-day counterparts are more likely to develop unique brand names like , Tesla, or (For the record, Starbuck is a fictional character from Moby Dick, Nikola Tesla died 60 years before the founding of , and it’s unlikely Robin Hood was a real person, much less had any involvement with the financial services app.). Because of this shift, a unique brand name, rather than a founder’s name (i.e., yours) can create an impression of a larger organization, which implies more breadth and depth.

If you’re thinking, “But I don’t want anyone to think I’m more than one person,” don’t underestimate the disadvantage solo freelancers can face in competitive situations. Remember that people who’ll never meet you – whether they’re decision-makers or procurement personnel – may be making judgments based on your name alone. For example, imagine having to select one of the following brand consultancies: Catchword, Lexicon, or Sally Flakowitz. The personal name creates an awkward, apples-to-oranges situation you’re probably better off avoiding.

Related: Why Brand Name is Important for Start-Ups?

A brand name gives you room to grow

Speaking of scale, another benefit of a brand name is its potential to stretch as your business changes. You may not plan on building a 15-person team – but plans often change. Should your business become more than a one-person operation, a brand name provides room to grow.

This logic applies even on a project-to-project basis. When you take on a large assignment, you may need to subcontract work or hire other freelancers as teammates. When showing up at a client’s office with a colleague, introducing yourselves as independent freelancers who happen to be working together at the moment does not inspire confidence. It creates a temporary, noncommital feeling. It’s much easier – and sounds more professional – to say, “Hi, I’m Rob, and this is Sally. We’re from [BrandName].”

A brand name provides an opportunity to express ideas

What ideas and feelings does your name evoke to those who hear it? Hopefully, amongst your family and friends, at least, a host of positive adjectives are associated with your name – perhaps smart, creative, and hardworking. But for those who’ve never met you? Never heard of you? It’s just a name. Unless you go by “Sting” or “The Rock,” your name doesn’t really convey any meaning. It doesn’t tell prospective clients that you’re smart or creative. It’s not even a name you chose.

But creating a brand name allows you to say something. Some brand names are straightforward and descriptive (e.g., Best Buy), while some merely suggest an idea (e.g., Zipcar). Others venture into the abstract – they don’t carry any relevant meaning but can nevertheless convey a sense of personality, like Apple (simple) or Virgin (irreverent). No matter what approach your brand name has, you can use it to tell people something about yourself and the work you do.

Related: The Do’s and Don’t’s of Naming Your Business (Infographic)

A brand name may be easier to spell and pronounce

Some first and last names are easier to pronounce than others, but chances are the brand name you create will be shorter than your personal name (one word rather than two, for example). And since you’re building the name from scratch, you’ll have an opportunity to ensure its . While there are exceptions, most of the best brand names are short and sweet. Names built from one or more real English words are more likely to be understood, pronounceable, and correctly spelled than many people’s names.

If you have any interest in doing business overseas, you may find your personal name has additional drawbacks. Names that are commonplace in one language or culture may appear strange or unpronounceable in other parts of the world. Your name may lead people to assume – accurately or not – that you’re from a particular country or region and, whether or not it’s fair, that assumption may come with prejudices. English, however, has become the lingua franca of global business. A real English word or two is likely to be understood and pronounceable by many business people for whom English is not a native tongue.

A brand name may be more distinctive

The flip side of the point above is that, in some cases, personal names are so common that they fail to stand out. If your name is “Niamh Moloughney,” good luck getting people to spell and pronounce it correctly. But if you’re one of the over 11,000 Ann Millers on LinkedIn, your prospective customers may have trouble remembering you or telling you apart from other freelancers.

Reviewing competitor names is a critical step in any brand naming process. In creating your brand name, you can choose to use a different naming style, pick one that’s significantly shorter or longer than competitors, or find an initial letter that’s unique to the category.

Ultimately, this decision depends heavily on your given name and surname. How common are they? Are they hard to spell or pronounce? Will they associate you with a specific language, country, or region – for better or worse? Some people’s names almost beg to be used as brand names, like Smart & Final (named after founders J.S. Smart and H.D. Final) or Fox Racing (named after founder Geoff Fox). They’re short, simple, easy to remember, and have built-in meaning or imagery. Unless you’re lucky enough to have such a distinctive, evocative name, consider creating a brand name for your freelance business.

Related: 10 Secrets to Master Your Personal Brand

Rob Meyerson

 

By: Rob Meyerson/ Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

 

Source: Should You Use Your Own Name or Create a Brand Name for Your Business?

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How Brands Can Better & Effectively Use Influencers

https://miro.medium.com/max/1200/0*uPEXSSv59uAYEmc7

Influencer marketing isn’t as simple as choosing an influencer with a high number of followers to post an ad for you. In 2019, there have been a multitude of changes that have taken place in the influencer marketing world which brands need to factor into their strategies to get the most ROI.Consumer expectations around authenticity, an increase in influencers making it harder to reach their target market, and the need for solid evidence of the success of a campaign or post are the key trends we’re seeing shape the changes this year.

Below is a list of things to remember before engaging an influencer for your brand, to ensure the highest success rate.

  1. Influencers are people too

It’s clear that brands need to identify an influencer that suits their image and has an audience appropriate to them, as it’s obvious it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Think of the basic advertising and marketing principles such as brand consistency across its messaging, imagery, stunts etc. All of these principles also apply when it comes to selecting influencers.

For effective market penetration in the influencer space, brands need to change the way they see influencers. It can feel a little strange at first because we’re so used to having our own perception of them through a screen, but brands need to challenge themselves and stop being transactional and start building genuine relationships.

Doing this, not only will your brand foster beneficial relationships for future activity, but the synchronicity between the influencer, brand and audience is the key driver to the most genuine engagement and success of the campaign.

Of course, there is always the irony when it comes to using influencers since brands pay for influencers to post an ad, so it can be perceived as anything but genuine. Therefore, it is important to be mindful that influencer marketing is actually a partnership and when working together, both reputations are on the line.

2. Video is the new black

Like all key moments in pop culture, trends come and go but some stick so well that they stay popular through the generations. The 20s had smoking and flapper dresses, the 60s had the flare pants and tie-dye, the 80s had the boombox and the 90s had the blackberry.

In 2019’s digital climate, the legacy that millennials and Gen Zs have left is the ubiquitous use of social media. This demographic has propelled the amount of user-generated content full of memes, live streaming of stories and videos, which is why video is currently on trend.

Since 90% of Gen Z and 83% of millennials are spending at least two or three hours a day watching videos on their smartphones, brands need to capitalise on creating fun video content and memes that can be easily shared with their peers as it resonates well with this generation more than any other form of media.

3. Authenticity is key

When followers feel like influencers are real people they can relate to and even share similar experiences with, that’s when the magic happens. The most successful influencers have a highly captivated audience because of their ability to produce authentic and relatable content.

Since millennials and Gen Z’s are digital natives to social media and advertising across these platforms, they are naturally more switched on when it comes to recognising when they are being overtly marketed to.

According to a study by Deloitte, 72% of millennials use social media as a good way to stay connected to news and topics that are important to them, while 65% of millennials said that they are happy to receive targeted content if it aligns with their interests – proving they are savvy when it comes to their consuming of digital content.

If businesses want to engage an influencer to market to this demographic, they need to be mindful about content that’s not consistent with the influencer’s audience and brand.

Brands need to change their thinking to view their relationships with influencers as adding a ‘human element’ to their marketing approach, as opposed to looking to influencer marketing as another means to just sell their products.

4. Data is king

Influencer marketing has always been seen as an enigma, with traditional marketers often questioning whether it can yield actual commercial results.

The reality of it is that it can. One of the best examples is homegrown company Hi-Smile. Founders Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic started the company with $20,000 of their own savings using solely influencer marketing, which then grew the company into a $40M business with over 100,000 customers across the globe in just three years.

Measuring ROI and using data to track the success of a campaign is important, not just because you can say with authority that investing the marketing budget into the influencer space was a wise move, but so you can optimise your campaigns.

Influencer marketing is still relatively new and there’s a huge potential to lead the market.

5. Talking to Gen Z

By next year, Gen Z’s are expected to account for about 40 percent of all consumers, not to mention social media has become one of the key driving forces for this generation to purchase products, accounting for 80% of purchases.

Instagram (44%), Snapchat (21%) and YouTube (32%) are the core outlets making the biggest impact in this space and influence everything from purchasing decisions, lifestyle choices and even political perspectives.

After almost a decade of focusing on millennials and Gen Y, brands that haven’t started factoring Gen Z into their strategies are shooting themselves in the foot.

Given Gen Z’s have an attention span of about 8 seconds, capturing their attention requires authentic and engaging content that they can contribute to, interact with, or be a part of. They want to feel like they are part of an actual community attached to authentic causes.

Despite the digital landscape’s challenges, there’s an opportunity for brands and businesses to market to consumers in a more flexible way to adapt to this new digital era. With so many opportunities for brands to utilise this generation of social media lovers to their benefit, remember the five key tips to ensure success and tap into a savvy, yet highly engaged type of audience.


Nathan Ruff is the co-founder and CEO of Hoozu, a data driven content creation business that uses creators and content to convert sales for its clients. Nathan has a wealth of specialist knowledge across industry trends, managing risk and ensuring accountability in a relatively unregulated space. He has also successfully founded five companies, including Market Engine, Urban Geek Media and VOLT Media. Nathan has been instrumental in helping to disrupt the influencer marketing industry and bringing accountability to the discipline.

Source: How brands can better and effectively use influencers – Dynamic Business

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Nestlé Health Science Acquires Vital Proteins

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Nestlé Health Science (NHSc), a global leader in the field of nutritional science, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Vital Proteins, America’s top-selling collagen brand. This is the first major acquisition of a collagen-based wellness company to date. Vital Proteins was founded in 2013 by Kurt Seidensticker based on the belief that whole-food-based collagen nutrition is fundamental to maintaining overall health and longevity. Since launching, Vital Proteins has become the leading collagen brand in America, growing their annual sales above $100 million within the span of four years. The company’s brand’s portfolio includes over 150 collagen-based supplements, vitamins and food and beverage products.

Vital Proteins will continue to operate as a standalone business, “remaining committed to its founding mission of helping people live healthier lives through high quality, sustainably-sourced collagen nutrition,” according to a company statement. Seidensticker said that becoming a part of the NHSc portfolio will equip Vital Proteins with a variety of resources to scale the company’s reach and innovation. “I spent a lot of time having conversations with people I respected in the CPG space, in addition to leadership from companies that could eventually be a future partner. Through those conversations it became clear that NHSc was really aligned with our brand values, our mission and purpose to empower healthier lives,” he said.

“I’ve always envisioned Nestlé as the ideal partner and have enjoyed getting to know their team, their vision and their values. I also spent time talking to the founders of another like-minded wellness company whom I respect, to see who they thought was a good fit for their organization, and they felt Nestlé was the ideal partner as well. With Nestlé’s support, we will be able to leverage new resources, scale and capabilities, moving towards a future with an expanded global offering of high-quality nutrition products. The possibilities with Nestlé have reignited my imagination of all that Vital can be.”

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Vital Proteins complements NHSc’s other vitamin, mineral, supplement and wellness brands, including Atrium Innovations, Garden of Life, Pure Encapsulations and Persona. “This is an exciting opportunity for Nestlé Health Science to enter a growing area of nutrition with a successful brand,” said Greg Behar, CEO of NHSc. “The collagen nutrition market is growing, and Vital Proteins has shown its strength by becoming a full lifestyle brand which will perfectly complement our other vitamin, mineral and supplement brands.”

Board member and investor Brett Thomas, cofounder and managing partner of CAVU Venture Partners, credits much of the company’s success to Seidensticker’s leadership. “Kurt was a visionary founder who set out not only to create a category but to define a lifestyle—and we were believers,” said Thomas. “It was this passion, paired with his exceptional leadership skills and clear ability to execute that ultimately drove the brand’s success.” Seidensticker will remain in his role as Vital Proteins CEO, based out of the company’s headquarters in Chicago, IL.

“It speaks volumes about Vital Proteins as a wellness platform and moreover Kurt as a leader that such a great strategic partnership was formed amidst all the uncertainty in the world,” added Thomas. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Vital Proteins has seen a more than 50% increase in demand for their products. “Consumers are now even more focused on their health and well-being in the midst of this pandemic. The appetite for authentic wellness brands that are rooted in science should remain high, particularly ones which know how to effectively communicate with Millennials and Gen-Z,” explained Romitha Mally, Vice Chairman at UBS who helped orchestrate this deal, as well as Dollar Shave Club and Sundial Brands/SheaMoisture’s sales to Unilever, Bai’s sale to Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Primal Kitchen’s acquisition by Kraft Heinz.

To support the growth of the business, Nestlé plans to explore geographic and product expansion while maintaining the elements of the Vital Proteins brand that make it popular among consumers. Vital Proteins’ 150 unique products (representing a total of 250 variants of those products) are sold across 35,000 retail doors in North America and Europe, including Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Walgreens and Kroger.

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Writer of all things and host of ‘I Suck At Life‘ podcast.

Source: http://www.forbes.com

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Click ‘SHOW MORE’ to see everything I showed in this video ▼▼▼ Hey Everyone! Another video about Vital Proteins and Collagen Peptides. Been using it for the last 2.5 years and i’m hooked on it, not a sponsored video by any mean, i just really love this product and it does miracles for my hair, skin, nails and overall health. Thank you for watching and don’t forget to Subscribe for weekly videos 🙂 —— I get my music for my videos from Epidemic Sound ▶︎ https://tomas.pw/2x5IhNt
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