Close

Naming your business

Postby William Stoneback » October 5th, 2014, 9:07 pm


William Stoneback
 
Posts: 2
Joined: September 20th, 2012, 9:03 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Hi All,

This question is towards the freelance designers out there...

Why did you name your business after yourself?

-or-

Why did you name your business something else?

I see pros and cons to both.

Re: Naming your business

Postby rkuchinsky » October 5th, 2014, 9:39 pm

User avatar

rkuchinsky
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5764
Joined: July 3rd, 2005, 9:20 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Branding is all about personality and creating a DNA with meaning. To me, naming the consultancy with your own name had no meaning unless people already know you. I chose something that was intended to make a statement of what I offer and how I work.

The Directive Collective.

Directive meaning focused and forward thinking with purpose. Collective is how I work both with clients and key contractors.

I brainstormed at least 50 other options before I came up with that. Will try to dig those up.

A non personal name also has the advantage that it's perceived as more than an individual or personal opinion and can live on if you sell, incorporate or pass on to a new generation. (Though there are obviously examples of firms named for an individual still going when they are gone).

R
The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

Re: Naming your business

Postby iab » October 6th, 2014, 9:09 am


iab
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 2446
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:03 pm
The branding process requires the same iterative method as the design process.

Research/Strategy/Implementation

Rinse and repeat.

Without the process, choosing whether you use your name or not your name is akin to choosing blue or red for a product.

Re: Naming your business

Postby Sain » October 6th, 2014, 9:59 am

User avatar

Sain
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 874
Joined: July 27th, 2005, 9:06 pm
Location: Seattle
Also think it helps if your name has a bit of punch or uniqueness to it.


fred Bould Design & walter Teague - both these to me have a ton of character.


marc Newson Design -for some reason to me would not be as powerful. (maybe its in the syllables.)
emmanuel carrillo - emmanuelcarrillo.com

Re: Naming your business

Postby yo » October 6th, 2014, 10:11 am

User avatar

yo
Administration
Administration
 
Posts: 16016
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:57 pm
Location: SoCal
Iab is correct, this is a design process. Of course part of the design process is gathering input and data for your research.

frog was originally esslinger design, but when they moved to the US, the German name was an issue, and frog summed up the symbol heavy whimsical nature of the firm. Before that most firms where so and so and associates.

I think as previously stated, if your name has cache (you are known) then it becomes a possible strategy, or if your name has a ring to it that just works. It should be said that this is going to make your firm harder to sell, something you probably are not thinking about right now, but down the road may be important. Also if you are a personality, even though a lot of other designers work at Stark, Newson, and Rashid, everything bears their signature look, there is a house style that is very strong.

Otherwise, it makes more sense to do what Richard did, though I'd argue that a lot of people know who he is personally at this point anyway, so maybe that is the best of both worlds.

Re: Naming your business

Postby rkuchinsky » October 6th, 2014, 12:05 pm

User avatar

rkuchinsky
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5764
Joined: July 3rd, 2005, 9:20 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Well put iab. It is indeed a branding process. I should have explained further.

When branding my own consultancy, I followed the same process I use when branding for my clients. It is important to first define what your strategic positioning is, what your brand/co. stands for, the personality of your brand, the vision and mission.

In my case, the plan was to create a design consultancy that did everything from strategy to design, development, graphics, packaging, marketing, while focused in footwear. Most consultancies in footwear were just 1 or two guys and design only. Lots of "So and So Design", or generic names like "Advanced Design". I wanted something less personal, more strategic, "bigger" sounding...

I did explore the whole gamut though..

Here's a list of initial concepts (narrowed down a lot after this initial list)-

Richard Kuchinsky Design
R & K
R & K Studios
R & K Group
Richard, Inc.
Richard Group
Richard Kuchinsky Group
Rich & Associates
Richard & Associates
Richard Kuchinsky & Associates
Directive Creation
Directive Creator & Associates
Directive Creator Design Group
The Directive Creator Group
Directive Collective
Collective Directive Design
The Collective Directive
The Directive Collective
The Directive Creator
Directive Creative
Rich & You
Rich & I
Richard & I
Rich & Me
Richard & Me
Richard & You
You & Me Rich
Rich & New
Richard & New
Creation Directive
273 (size 9 last length)
273 Design
The Rich & The Good
The Rich Directive
Sole & Upper
Sole Directive
Studio Directive
Pink Design
Innovate/Elevate
Inc. Inc.
Pink, Inc.
Greative Creative
Design Whore
Shoe Whore
Great Create
Directive Projective
Directive Prospective
Directive Perspective
Directive Detective
Creative Projective
Perspective Detective
Obsessive Directive
Obsessive Perspective Directive
Obsessive Perspective Collective
Obsessive Collective
Collective Unconsciousness
Unconscious Collective
Dissociative Collective
Creative Collective


R
The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

Re: Naming your business

Postby Timf » October 6th, 2014, 12:47 pm

User avatar

Timf
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 905
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 9:03 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
I recently developed a business name. One thing I made sure of was to check the availability of the URL. I toyed with adding my name (or initials) to the business name but in the end I decided it did not work well.

BTW Yo, you do know that frog stood for Federal Republic of Germany. I heard Esslinger talk about this many years ago.

Re: Naming your business

Postby William Stoneback » October 6th, 2014, 9:07 pm


William Stoneback
 
Posts: 2
Joined: September 20th, 2012, 9:03 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Very good comments. I've also heard it isn't a good idea to use your name due to legal reasons. Keep you and your business separate.

Re: Naming your business

Postby yo » October 6th, 2014, 11:47 pm

User avatar

yo
Administration
Administration
 
Posts: 16016
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:57 pm
Location: SoCal
Tim, the Federal Republic story is one Hartmut told, but in actuality the studio had a pet frog long before that back in Germany, named Friedolin. I think the Federal Republic thing was a backfill, and another inside bit of lore.

Re: Naming your business

Postby mo-i » October 7th, 2014, 4:29 am

User avatar

mo-i
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 1253
Joined: November 30th, 2004, 5:46 am
Location: Germany
The official abbreviation of Federal Republic of Germany in German is "BRD". The english
equivalent "FRG" was only present in the media during Olympic games or the likes and lacks
the "o".

So "backfill" sounds likely. How long do "pet" frogs last?

mo-i
I am not young enough to know everything.
Oscar Wilde

Re: Naming your business

Postby bepster » October 7th, 2014, 7:52 am

User avatar

bepster
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: January 11th, 2006, 6:55 pm
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Personally, I think the "cache" thing goes both ways.
Yes, using your own name is obvious if it is already established or you jump onto the market with a lot of momentum, for example if a designer opens his own shop after heading another design firm successfully for years.

I feel that going with a branded name should generally be reserved for firms where several people are involved.
Personally, if a designer wants to set up his own freelance shop, I'd recommend going with your own name.
Of course, a catchy name helps. If it is say a Joe Schmo John Smith kinda thing, why not go back to a cool nickname or invent one that believably could be interpreted as an actual name. Actors do this all the time.
Branded names from young designers looking for freelance work that try to be whimsical or clever just feel contrived and a bit silly to me, in the worst cases just arrogant and ridiculous.

No client will refer to the freelancer by his brand name anyway if it is only that one guy. I feel that if there are several people involved, a name which everyone can stand behind, makes a lot of sense.

Re: Naming your business

Postby NURB » October 7th, 2014, 2:15 pm

User avatar

NURB
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4655
Joined: November 10th, 2005, 1:31 pm
Location: MPLS
Richard you missed the mark, man. Design Whore would have opened doors! Think of the success you could be having! ;)
Chris Haar

twitter:@chrishaar

Those who define design as knowing how to use Illustrator will be condemned to using Illustrator their entire career. - @monteiro

Re: Naming your business

Postby rkuchinsky » October 7th, 2014, 2:59 pm

User avatar

rkuchinsky
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5764
Joined: July 3rd, 2005, 9:20 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
NURB wrote:Richard you missed the mark, man. Design Whore would have opened doors! Think of the success you could be having! ;)


Strictly high-end whore of course. More like Design Escort. ;)

R
The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

Re: Naming your business

Postby NURB » October 7th, 2014, 3:34 pm

User avatar

NURB
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4655
Joined: November 10th, 2005, 1:31 pm
Location: MPLS
Pure class.
Chris Haar

twitter:@chrishaar

Those who define design as knowing how to use Illustrator will be condemned to using Illustrator their entire career. - @monteiro

Re: Naming your business

Postby IDiot » October 8th, 2014, 11:14 am

User avatar

IDiot
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 1200
Joined: January 6th, 2004, 5:15 am
Location: theZoo
yo wrote:Tim, the Federal Republic story is one Hartmut told, but in actuality the studio had a pet frog long before that back in Germany, named Friedolin. I think the Federal Republic thing was a backfill, and another inside bit of lore.


indeed, "backronyms" are more common than actual acronyms if we're being honest

now my mind is full of hip-hop emcees listing the depth behind their name
Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal
Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everybody
....

Go to the Next Page

Return to business practices