You always hear... Brand your name! Brand your name!

by Rob Whisonant 40 replies
You are always hearing to brand your name. Is it easier to brand a simple name or an unusual name?

Re's
Rob Whisonant
#main internet marketing discussion forum #brand #hear
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  • Profile picture of the author Ralf Skirr
    There's no exact rule for that.

    It's harder to remember an unusual name and it's easier to forget a simple name.

    Of course having an easy and maybe even 'niche' related name can be a branding advantage. Using a pen name is a possibility. In novels or TV shows you can see how characters get names that reflect what they do or what type of person they are.

    Remember though that the name itself is only a tiny part of your branding. It is mostly what you publish and how your sites look that will create your image.

    Ralf
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
      Originally Posted by Ralf Michael Skirr View Post

      There's no exact rule for that.

      It's harder to remember an unusual name and it's easier to forget a simple name.

      Of course having an easy and maybe even 'niche' related name can be a branding advantage. Using a pen name is a possibility. In novels or TV shows you can see how characters get names that reflect what they do or what type of person they are.

      Remember though that the name itself is only a tiny part of your branding. It is mostly what you publish and how your sites look that will create your image.

      Ralf
      Good points.

      Let's say two people publish 1000 extremely good quality and niche specific pages over a large number of high PR sites over a year.

      Would Bill Smith of Bill Yankafort be most remembered?

      Re's
      Rob Whisonant
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      • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
        Rob, what have you got against your own name? This is the second thread I've seen you post regarding it. :p

        Seriously, Ralf's points are very valid. If you've got a name that's unusual then it could be either a benefit or a hindrance - it's just how you perceive it.

        I'd say make a feature of it. Ever heard of
        Engelbert Humperdinck, the singer from the 60's and 70's? He changed his name from Arnold Dorsey!! I'd only be worried if you had a name like the former Irish politician, Dick Spring.

        But if it's going to preoccupy your thoughts and get in the way, then assume a pen name.

        Decide and move on.

        Peter
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        • Profile picture of the author Asher
          Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post

          But if it's going to preoccupy your thoughts and get in the way, then assume a pen name.

          Decide and move on.
          Agreed, to the point and succint. If you've got a unique name, Rob. You
          can bank on it or use a pen name. It's not the first time people have been
          using pen names.

          Stephen King and many famous authors have used it.

          Asher
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        • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
          Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post

          Rob, what have you got against your own name? This is the second thread I've seen you post regarding it. :p

          But if it's going to preoccupy your thoughts and get in the way, then assume a pen name.

          Decide and move on.

          Peter
          Hi Peter,

          I actually have nothing against my name. That is why I do use it. The first thread you mention was deleted because I started it in a fun fashion which should have been in the off topic forum. So I posted the question again but kept it on topic this time like I should have done in the first place.

          I was extremely curios about what others thought on this matter and from the number of responses and quality posts in this thread my question is being answered very well and I am learning more about name branding.

          Thanks for all the responses.

          Re's
          Rob Whisonant
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          • Profile picture of the author Lance K
            Better yet, give yourself a title and a story to support it.
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  • Profile picture of the author grumpyjacksa
    it seems it is easier to build credibility using your real name. people tend to connect to a person, rather than a character
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  • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
    I brand my trading name of Swiftdeal. There's another (more) famous Roger Mayne than me, who I have trouble competing with!!
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    "If you don't quit, you can't fail"
    Success will follow.

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    • Profile picture of the author Tuzic
      Banned
      hi,

      yes i agree branding is the soul the internet marketing and this should be distributed everywhere & anywhere on the internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave777
    Excellent read Tom Peters 1997...

    One of those timeless articles, over 10 years later. Who would have thought domaining and the internet would be what it is today?

    Imagine what the future holds...

    The Brand Called You | Fast Company
    tompeters! management consulting leadership training development project management

    Dave
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  • Branding my own name wasn't a problem. Fortunately, I have little competition (unless you count that ham radio operator in Malta named Vince Runza)!

    For those of you with names that either have more famous personages with the same moniker or you just don't want your name all over the place, consider a catchy brand-name that is easy to remember and doesn't offend.
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    "The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win." -- misquoting Coach Vince Lombardi
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    I love the fact one of my main niches is parenting and education
    if I remarry I'll be keeping that name for those bits!
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Yeah. I was discussing this only last night with my friend, Dave Microsoft.


    Frank
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    I've just put Richard Branson's number on speed-dial. I call it my "Get-Rich-Quick" scheme.

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    • Profile picture of the author Mary Gallivan
      Hi Rob

      I fully agree with what Peter said. You do seem to have a 'thing' about your name.

      To be quite honest I don't think it's all that unusual, I've seen worse!

      You can change your name or use a pen name. I use my real name for some sites and a pen name for others. As time goes by I will use more and more pen names depending on the niche.

      Best wishes

      Mary
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      Actually, thinking about this a bit more, maybe I should make more of my own name.

      Peter Bestel is the truncated version, as my full surname is Bestel de Lezongard.

      What niches, do you think, could this be suitable for?

      Peter
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      • Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post

        Actually, thinking about this a bit more, maybe I should make more of my own name.

        Peter Bestel is the truncated version, as my full surname is Bestel de Lezongard.

        What niches, do you think, could this be suitable for?
        Jousting, genealogy, role playing, sword & sorcery, Arthurian legends...
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        "The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win." -- misquoting Coach Vince Lombardi
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        • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
          Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

          Jousting, genealogy, role playing, sword & sorcery, Arthurian legends...
          Ooo! Interesting Vince and thanks. I hadn't really thought about it and I only queried it half in jest, but you've got me thinking now...

          Jousting... let me see, how d'ya think a how-to video on medieval gamesmanship would go down on youtube? I'll just go and polish my armour and find myself a knave.

          Peter
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    • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      Yeah. I was discussing this only last night with my friend, Dave Microsoft.


      Frank
      Thanks Frank!! Just spat coffee everywhere laughing!!!
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      "If you don't quit, you can't fail"
      Success will follow.

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  • Profile picture of the author AllanJames
    Originally Posted by Rob Whisonant View Post

    You are always hearing to brand your name. Is it easier to brand a simple name or an unusual name?

    Re's
    Rob Whisonant
    What you're trying to do is be memorable in some way, and to be able to be found on the search engines.

    You can use your name(s) as I do (AllanJames - to make it more memorable, search-able, and because there are a million other Allan James's out there)

    You can use a pen name. Or more than one.

    You can use a niche specific name (say GolfPro) or in my case the StartBusinessMentor - memorable and it searches well, google it to see what I'm talking about.

    Choices, choices :-)

    Cheers,
    AllanJames
    (the StartBusinessMentor)
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelvin Brown
    Also, for the purpose of name branding consider...

    Branding your name is not a requirement. You should consider why are you branding your name. The problem with branding a name is selling the brand. If the company changes hands, having only your name on it, may hamper the sales, or lower the offering price.

    I personally, trade on my name. But have several separate sites, that are marketed on the niche name.

    Just something to consider.

    Kelvin
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    Kelvin Brown

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    • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
      Rob -- you have good first and last names, dude. I like what you brought up and like what Kelvin said.

      What this tells me is being "different" doesn't automatically brand anyone. Rob, if you and I were applying for the same job and had two identical resumes, I'd bet my resume would get tossed out before yours based on our names.

      But having an unusual name is fine, once people. start noticing you. You can Google your name and won't turn out 20 others before finding one about yours.

      And when they start Googling your name, it's a good sign your idea is starting to take off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Lindsay
    I'm with Kelvin on this.

    If you're building a business around a central niche, you should give serious consideration on whether to concentrate on branding your name or the name of your business.

    If for example you plan to build a business which you might want to sell at some point in the future, for the reasons outlined by Kelvin, you might want to concentrate on developing the brand of your business rather than your own name.

    Brad
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelvin Brown
    Oh my, I must shout it to the world. I said something and 2 people actually agreed with me. WoW.

    Branding can work, but you also have to ask, is it making you any money.

    For example: do a search for ' famous internet marketer ' then do a search for ' kelvin brown '. You will likely find many similar pieces of information.

    But neither currently earns as much money as Followup101.com: Home of the Affordable Autoresponder

    now, offline branding can be easier in local communiteies. For example I went to a ground breaking, and a lady, says here comes the camera man. That is simply how she remembered me. Had no clue as to my name.

    Now, I saw a few people from the same group a week later, guess what they called me. The camera man. So, i could play with branding myself as "Washington D.C.'s Camera Man.", except that is not my real focus. But if it gets me in the door ok.

    So, in this case others perceptions of me lead to an opportunity for branding.

    Kelvin
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    Kelvin Brown

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    • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
      Originally Posted by grumpyjacksa View Post

      it seems it is easier to build credibility using your real name. people tend to connect to a person, rather than a character
      You can use a different name with out using a character and still be able to connect with the customer.

      Ralph Lauren did just that. I doubt his brand would be what it is today if he used Ralph Lifshitz.

      Michael Masterson (of agora publishing) uses a pen name and he works with 300 million dollar publishing companies. He has books published under his pen name. It seems some very successful companies use pen names, so I wouldn't consider it not profitable yet.

      The strategy works, but the question is if who ever is considering doing it, can pull it off...
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    • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
      Originally Posted by Kelvin Brown View Post

      Branding can work, but you also have to ask, is it making you any money.
      Successful branding can make you money.

      Not successful branding won't make you money.

      Its all about the strategy that is used.

      Donald Trump, not only successful in real estate, but his brand and image is what separates him from the rest.

      He just set the record for highest sale in the US for residential homes at around 100 million.

      It shouldn't be a question if branding and using pen names can be profitable.

      The question people should be asking "Can I make this work for me"
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      "I Pay Less Attention to What Men Say. I Just Watch What They Do."
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      • Profile picture of the author Barbara Eyre
        Rob,

        You may not have "Rob Whisonant" Enterprises or such, like Donald Trump has, but you can brand yourself like many have here on the internet.

        Mike Filsaime, Dr Mani, and the like have not really just branded their names. Their names have been associated with niches and specific products. When you hear product names, you instantly click with their names.

        You can do the same. So, when someone mentions Product Widget or Niche That, they automatically think of you.

        I have a famous last name. I have to fight with the fictional character of Jane Eyre for google rank LOL. I don't try to brand my name per se, but make it known for my online stores and other things I do. So, in a way, it is branding, but it isn't a crutch either.
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        • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
          Originally Posted by Barbara Eyre View Post

          Rob,
          Their names have been associated with niches and specific products. When you hear product names, you instantly click with their names.
          Barbara,

          Thats great insight right there and its very true. Have you ever had a question or wanted to know the answer to something, so you go check online? Have you ever heard someone say " Just Google it?"

          I hear it all the time from all different types of people. Google has a recognized name in there field. When you want an answer to a question (or information), just "Google it!"

          Many other products out there that hold a majority of the market share continue to use there brand to associate with a certain aspect.

          Like when the "Ipod" came out and for a while now, I don't here Mp3 player, I hear "ipod" instead of mp3 player.

          People are associating an MP3 player with "Ipod" and "ipod" is now the new industry term for Mp3 player.

          Of course this isnt always 100% true, but from my experiences I've noticed that Apple has put the Ipod in the customers mind as the new portable mp3 player. And the ONLY option. Branding can separate you from competition. It can show you as the only solution to ones problem and the first one that comes to mind.
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  • Originally Posted by Rob Whisonant View Post

    You are always hearing to brand your name. Is it easier to brand a simple name or an unusual name?

    Re's
    Rob Whisonant
    Hi Rob,

    I PMed you some crazy branding ideas Hope it helps

    Arindam
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    It depends what you're trying to achieve.

    If you want your business to always have to have you there, then branding your name might be wise, if you're intending to sell your business - having branded it with your name becomes a liability.
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    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
    One of the most important things to consider when choosing a brand is..

    its longevity or timelessness

    I see people who have branded their Nick on this board with current marketing themes.. e.g bum marketing .. or related to some current method thats working..

    that may be fine for now or the next couple of years.. but completely useless in 2 years or longer..

    So do not relate your brand to anything time specific..

    cheers

    Pete
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    • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
      Says Pete, the king of Badass. Badass sounds great and it NEVER goes out of style! Brute Force is pretty good too.

      Originally Posted by peteinoz View Post

      One of the most important things to consider when choosing a brand is..

      its longevity or timelessness

      I see people who have branded their Nick on this board with current marketing themes.. e.g bum marketing .. or related to some current method thats working..

      that may be fine for now or the next couple of years.. but completely useless in 2 years or longer..

      So do not relate your brand to anything time specific..

      cheers

      Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author MeTellYou
    it's best to brand a memorable name
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by Rob Whisonant View Post

    You are always hearing to brand your name. Is it easier to brand a simple name or an unusual name?

    Rob Whisonant
    Branding a name has little to do with being 'simple' or 'unusual'.

    It has a lot to do with what that name STANDS FOR.

    Interestingly, brands today are defined more by audiences, and what THEY say
    your name/brand stands for.

    For more, see

    gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards": the global microbrand, revisited

    (My comment was featured on the famous Gaping Void blog)

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Sim
    You can take John Delavera as an example.

    He named all of his products with "Turbo"
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    • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
      Reading this thread reminded me of watching Armand Moran talk about how all his products were branded as "Armand Morans' This" and "Armand Morans' That" and how he concluded that removing his name from the prominant position and just branding all his products under the "Generator" brand made a lot more sense in the long run, especially if he ever wanted to sell the business.

      Sorry, I know that was a long sentance and I should have broken it up into smaller sentances, but I just didn't want to take the time.

      KJ
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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    'Eben Pagan' is one of many pen names used by this business person. The businesses he runs using other names not associated with his IM persona are highly saleable. This one, associated with him personally as the key, is not.

    Same for Frank Kern.

    So the answer is, it depends on the direction you see the business taking. Is it 'yours' and under your name branding, or is it a commodity able to be sold and easily separated from you personally as the last owner? If you have the time, do one of each.

    I don't know the first thing about setting up pen-names and using them in a business, but that's an interesting discussion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
    Along these same lines, would you rather buy from an individual or from a company?

    I know this is an extremely broad question. Just very curious about what others think about this.

    Re's
    Rob Whisonant
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    If you brand your name, it does make it a bit harder to sell the company later, rather than branding a company name. I did pretty well with branding phpLD. One of my users actually thought of it. It would be cool to find out who used it first.
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    It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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