Branding: Choosing a Business Name

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Maybe I could have three names. To alternate based on day of the week. Or something.

From what I’ve observed, good branding has little short term benefits. In the long run, however, it promises two major advantages that I can see: a) perception of professionalism, and communication of your style through your brand; b) association of your work with your brand. Also, people say that re-branding after you have already established an online presence and/or a customer following is a pain in the ass – so it’s better to do it right-ish from the beginning.

There are some legal aspects to consider when branding: making sure that the name you’re choosing isn’t widely used by other businesses, that it isn’t trademarked; registering for a “doing business as” license with your state; maybe even taking the steps to trademark your own business name, along with related phrases.

Me, at this point, all I’m aiming for is to pick a name that’s not too silly and comes up on the first page (or better yet, first overall) when googled.

Which means OAK Crafts has got to go. I really liked “OAK”, as it’s both my full initials (Olga Andreyevna Kochergina being my full Russian name), and it’s a tree! And trees are awesome. There’s so much association with nature, and potential growth, and longevity. Alas, oaks are popular trees, especially for wood craftsmen, and there are all sorts of Red Oak and White Oak businesses.

Another name I was considering is my online name: mimB. It started as a deviantArt user name, MimozaBlooming, for the branches of yellow mimosa flowersΒ (in English referred to as Silver Wattle)Β that are a popular gift in Russia on International Women’s Day. I haven’t been able to find them here. They are a part of Moscow culture that I’m still nostalgic for, even though it’s been 13 years now, and I’ve officially lived longer in USA than in Russia.

In any case, “MimozaBlooming” is a mouthful, even a little pretentious. Yet I didn’t want to go by “Olga”, with its English hard L that makes my perfectly lovely russian name sound like quaking geese. “mimB” is a great alternative – short, cute, bubbly. I’m almost tempted to use it in real life introductions. But, just google “mimb”! Did you see the first thing that comes up? What the hell is that, even?! (Sounds hardcore and not something I’d like a jewelry business to be confused with).

So back to the brainstorming board I am. My current ideas all center around my nature obsessions Β – flowers, weather. Dozing off in a field on a lazy afternoon with wishes for nothing but a mosquito net. Greeting summer rain with bare feet. More flowers.

  • Breath of Wildflowers
  • Wildflowers in Your Hair
  • Wildflower Spring
  • Wildflower Slumber
  • Sunshowers & Thunderstorms
  • Daisies & Dandelions

After a day’s worth of thinking, I’d vote for Wildflower Spring. I like it most for the triple meaning of ‘spring”: a spring as in the start of a stream; to spring as in to begin and to leap; and Spring the season.

What do you think? It that something you’d find easy to remember? Do you have any general advice for naming?

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5 Responses to Branding: Choosing a Business Name

  1. Anya says:

    Eek… I don’t like anything too flowery. It just makes me think of hippies (no offense to hippies, sorry). I feel like your jewelry is more “intense and serious” than wildflowers. In a shop named after wildflowers, I’d expect to see colorful plastic, maybe felt… lots of daisies and such. And quite cheap stuff, too. Some of your pieces are whimsical, but some are fitting for business attire, too. So I’d go with a name that’s a little more balanced. (But that’s just my opinion!)

    Daisies and Dandelions sounds like Dungeons and Dragons πŸ˜›

    Do you think you’ll keep your shop mostly centered on gemstones? Maybe do something gemstone related, or jewelry related? Something about the decorative aspect of jewelry?

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    • mimB says:

      Hm hm. Perhaps I will give my brain some pause, and return to look at the names in several days. Ideally, I’d come up with some short word that doesn’t mean much, if anything, in english, but sounds fun (and sounds good in many languages) and evokes energy.

      Otherwise, flowers are really tempting to me… Or random natur-y imagery. I already had to restrain myself from going all rainbows and unicorns (well, trees and acorns). πŸ™‚ And when I see shops with woodsy or animal related names I take it in stride.

      But yeah, gotta think there.
      And LOL for D&D. I promise, it was unplanned πŸ˜€

      As for the expanse of shop name. If it gets off the ground, I want to eventually get into metalwork. I don’t see myself abandoning gemstones, however πŸ™‚

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  2. Anya says:

    You mention this in your post I believe, but the name has to be catchy. Imagine that someone bought your earrings and her friend gives her a compliment and says, where did you get that? If the buyer responds “Oh, it’s from this great Etsy shop called Wildflower Spring”…. Is it memorable? Is it too long?

    The Etsy names I’ve remembered so far have been WingedLion and RavensRefuge. I think every other shop name just doesn’t stick in my mind. Either too generic, or too abstract…

    Please keep in mind I’m posting this at 1.30am. Not in my clearest mind… But I wanted to mention this before I forgot.

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    • mimB says:

      Yeah, WingedLion is definitely a name I remember. Also DanielM, CecileRaley, HeartOfWater, OneGarnetGirl, and Gemalicous (although that last one is for a beading supply business, and I remember it partially because I don’t like it :))

      So I’ve come up with some more word combinations:
      – Roaming Whimsy
      – Wild Naiade Designs
      – Spry Naiad Designs

      With these, I was focusing more on alliteration, sound combinations. Understanding the meaning is almost secondary πŸ™‚

      I’m leaning toward either of the latter two: Spry is closer to the meaning I like, Wild is better sound wise. Wild Naiade.
      Both of these words are used relatively often in names (although Naiad is the correct spelling, so any alternations I do to that would both be separating and maybe confusing?), but not together, not that I’ve seen.

      I think I’m going to stop on that for now. If this turns out to be a dreadful name, and I’m suddenly famous and whatnot, I’ll just take the trouble to rebrand. At this point, it sounds like an awesome nuisance to have on ones’ hands πŸ™‚

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      • mimB says:

        And I’ve settled on a spelling I like – “Wild Naiada Designs”. I had some fun last night using google translate to get pronunciations of variations on “Naiad”. I was trying to get a “nah-yah-dah” sounding spelling, which I guess comes out to Nayada. But because it’s nice to have repeating letters, am sticking with Naiada.

        So I took this WAY TOO seriously – but at least it got totally fun towards the end πŸ™‚

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