One of the biggest challenges when you’re starting out as a freelance strategy consultant is naming and branding your business.
Remembering that this will then live across all your brand touch points including:
- Website URL
- Email address
- Business cards
- Logos (brand identities)
- Email signatures
It has to mean something – not just to you but to your audience.
I’m speaking from a solo-freelancer and strategy consultancy perspective here. If you are setting up larger organisations there’s more of a drive to have something less you-specific, some of the learnings in the post will apply but I’m focusing more on the smaller business here.
Recently I went through a ‘rebrand’ of sorts – I have been set up as a limited company for a number of years but the name really did not do justice to what I wanted from it and what I want prospective clients to get from it.
The company name used to be DillonArts – which is still quite nice, my name is Greg Dillon and I work in the creative industry but it is not specific enough.
After lots of deliberating, I went all round the houses and came to the conclusion that there are four naming territories to explore when naming your consultancy / freelance business…
- Owners name – hero the founder / owner, accountability, endorsement
- Literal meaning – what it is you do / provide / how should clients feel
- Abstract – something random that has no inherent meaning related to your business
- Silent – something that is just there to partner with others
I wrestled with it for ages and called my design industry mentor to discuss it a number of times and together we came to an idea around truth, honesty and purity called Candour. I did the checks, found a way to make it work URL-wise but something that I could not explain just did not feel right. It was not me.
Eventually I went with my heart… After a weekend in the W Hotel in Barcelona for my fiancé’s birthday it all fell into place… W Hotels made me think more strongly about the ‘ownership’ and ‘iconifying’ thing as it is done so nicely there. Then having a qualifier or secondary statement that would denote what I and the consultancy stands for.
I moved from building a brand around meaning and creating a brand around my initials, GD, so that I can iconify the G that stands for me and gives that personal endorsement as well as being flexible across different ventures.
Thoughts? Any other ideas or comments around naming and branding your business – what are your naming stories?