Should I use my personal name, or should I use a business name for my brand? A question worthy of thought as to how you wish to be known, and what you wish to be associated with in both the short and long-term identity of your brand.

Do you plan to remain a solo entrepreneur? Someone who is going to be part of the brand on a personal level? Naming your brand by a personal name carries with it the implication of a personal touch, and the customer with get the impression that one person is invested in the brand, both with their time and financial involvement. The output of work is that of a solo effort. There is a face to the brand, and that’s where it ends, there is no one else behind it. What you see is what you get.

If you wish to be intentionally involved, brand yourself with a personal name.

At some stage down the line you may outgrow your output, where you need to outsource your work, creatively. The brand may evolve to encompass other people. Disney for example. The name that was once personal, now transcends into one that is multi-personal.

Costumers love stories, and being a personal brand is a great way to attract an audience with tales of overcoming difficult obstacles on your path to success. They perceive the personal name to be just one person, working extremely hard at their dream, and this is very rewarding in the long run. People love an underdog story. A story of starting from scratch and working hard to achieve your goals and getting where you want to be. Personal name brands are rewarding in the long run, where you can create a stronger connection to your audience.

A business name on the other hand, will find it harder to connect with their audience on a more human level, due to the nature of story telling being a personal affair. Of course businesses can tell stories but its more removed from the emotive aspect. Coming from a business, it feels like more of a facade, we know there is a person behind the story, but the use of a business name builds up a wall, and feels almost robotic, which makes it harder for consumers to accept and become invested in a brand on a more personal level.This is why businesses have mascots. In an attempt to inject a personal element and transcend that wall.

Personal names require you to think about how much you want to be involved and to what level.

So you have your name, built up a following and established a bit of a reputation. So when should a new project fall under the same name umbrella, and when should you branch off under a different name or alias?

As I mentioned in post #18, it’s much easier to carry over the trust in your followers to your new venture. This is why celebrities branch into new fields to create a fashion line or fragrances etc. Because their name accompanies an already established reputation and quality factor, just by association alone.

A Personal name evolves, there is room to pivot. It’s like a living breathing person. You are what you project. A business name will have a harder time evolving into something new if it is too industry specific. For example a name like “Acoustic Guy” who covers acoustic versions of pop songs on Youtube, something that’s so specific, will get immediate attention from people looking for this exact outlet. But the name will run into problems further don the line and will find it harder to build a trust with people if he has moved on to electronic music , and accompanies that under the same umbrella.

It’s all about the long-term vs. short-term;

Short Term: Business Name. You will gain a large initial growth, will be easy to search for online, and people instantly know what they are getting. But will find it harder to connect with people on a personal level, and (depending on the name) may only be able to take one creative direction.

Long Term: Personal Name. Harder initially to get started, low-level of search optimisation (depending if you are niche enough), but easier to build connections and establish relationships with your followers. Easier to evolve into another artistic expression.

People know what they are looking for and will know immediately if you’re for them.

Your brand is all about how people view you. You’re either actively shaping that, or you’re not.