Is changing website name a bad idea?

11 replies
I'm about to open a photo tour business and it's time to name it.

A large % of photographers choose to use their own names as their brand, and lots of them are quite successful with this.

However, I don't want to be selling only myself forever. I want to scale, and hire other photographers eventually as well.

Businesses that do this invariably have more typical brand names that they have created.

The trouble is, as far as startup goes, it will be vastly easier to market my own name. Because the #1 way of getting recognized is having impressive images out there with your name on them, as an artist. These are fine art images, so you simply can't stamp them with "japanphototours.com" or whatever, it just doesn't work.

So my question is, is it a bad idea to build recognition around my name, say www.johnsmith.com, until I get big enough to scale, and then change it to a more general brand down the road when I want it to encompass multiple photographers?
#bad #changing #idea #website
  • Profile picture of the author blakesienna
    It's not bad but I think you should choose a name that will last. Don't just use name with a mindset that you'll soon change it to another name. Think of something unique and creative.
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  • Profile picture of the author superowid
    One brand name that would last forever. Think like you're gonna give your company a name. And people will always know that there's a real name behind that brand (it's your own name as owner). So, start to find the best name for your brand now. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Schwab
    Not really so much different to either use your name, or make one up, something unique like "google"

    the process is always the same : hit it against the wall until it sticks.

    Doesn't matter what its called, as long people remember it.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourGoToWriter
    It's actually not a bad idea. I agree with George that it doesn't natter what it's called, as long as people remember it. But sometimes, you just have to be sensitive with branding because that is how you want people to remember you.. it's okay to change the name, but it would be better if you stick to the original one.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Elijah Laughinghaus View Post

    I'm about to open a photo tour business and it's time to name it.

    A large % of photographers choose to use their own names as their brand, and lots of them are quite successful with this.

    However, I don't want to be selling only myself forever. I want to scale, and hire other photographers eventually as well.

    Businesses that do this invariably have more typical brand names that they have created.

    The trouble is, as far as startup goes, it will be vastly easier to market my own name. Because the #1 way of getting recognized is having impressive images out there with your name on them, as an artist. These are fine art images, so you simply can't stamp them with "japanphototours.com" or whatever, it just doesn't work.

    So my question is, is it a bad idea to build recognition around my name, say www.johnsmith.com, until I get big enough to scale, and then change it to a more general brand down the road when I want it to encompass multiple photographers?
    I don't see the point on changing it.
    Is there an issue having both, your name and your new brand?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    as long people remember it.
    I would remember "laughinghaus photos"
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  • Profile picture of the author vedremo
    Banned
    You're on the right track. You have the end goal, let's start working towards that now.

    I agree choose a good one to start with. The problem is this leads to perfectionism and things never getting done. Instead you have a wonderful list of ideal things to do "if only I had the name.. "

    My advice would be to give yourself 2 days to pick one. Then just do it.

    I read this case study on Shopify the other day, similar story. They started selling their own under one brand, then moved to selling under a new brand when they became a marketplace: https://www.shopify.com/blog/1758742...gital-products
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  • Profile picture of the author Alastair Hayward
    Your shop name is one of the most important factors in creating a successful business

    It has its own set of advantages and disadvantages

    A good business name will also lend you credibility. Plus, it’s much easier to sell your business later on (if you choose to do so).

    I personally would use a business name myself rather than a personal name because I don't really want the new owner using my personal name when I no longer own the business.
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Its not bad. Its good because a lot of people can get to know you and what you can get done for them. Even in you outsource your work you are still the initial contact.
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  • Well my thought was, that it would be easier to market a personal name in the beginning, because it being photography, all of my photos are floating around out there with my name on them in the first place. It's more personal, and I'm offering a very personal service.

    On the other hand, my concern is that down the road, if I want to hire other photographers, they will be devalued. If you go to a doctor's office, entitled Bateman and associates, who do you want to see? Bateman of course. As a consumer, you are automatically wary of any other doctor in that clinic and assume they are 2nd rate. I think. Am I wrong?

    On the side of the coin, is the early stages of the business. I feel it will be more difficult, marketing a personal service, where I'm the only employee, under a company title. Doesn't that seem a little strange? Nobody puts a brand name on photos, you put the name of the photographer. My most important advertising will be my photos, so I think it creates a disconnect for the marketing. Thoughts?
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Elijah

    It appears you've already spent some time branding yourself and it would only make sense to continue down on that path.

    If your business is called "Laughinghaus Photo" , Laughinghaus Photos" or Laughinghaus Photo Tours" does it really matter?

    If your style can be associated with just your name then you have made it.

    Oh...that's a "Laughinghaus"

    Much like a Bailey, Warhol, Dupain...Cindy Sherman.

    Concentrate on building your brand.

    If your business grew so that you needed to employ other photographers it would not be a problem as it would be your brand they worked under.

    Nearly all large firms where they may have initially been built by one or two people as a partnership grow and still retain the name yet the partners, directors, company structure may have changed several times.

    Look at all the big fashion brands where the initial designer has long since departed yet the brand lives on.

    Create your style...your uniqueness and then systemise the process as you grow.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
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