If you’re starting your own fitness brand, I want to make sure you’ve decided how to name it by the end of this blog post.
First off, I believe in taking action and moving FAST towards your goals.
Second, I see many first-time entrepreneurs overthink this step all the time and I don’t want you to fall into that trap.
True, the name of your brand is important, but it isn’t THE most important thing, and it’s something you can figure out with just a few simple guidelines.
As you’ll see, it’s all about communicating your message in a quick and easy to understand way. Your audience doesn’t want it to be complicated, so why should you?
Speaking of the most important thing, you know what IS the most important thing? TAKING ACTION AND LEARNING BY DOING!
So let’s get you out of that procrastination, over-thinking loop and name your business!
Personal Vs. Impersonal
Let’s get the big question out of the way first: should you name your brand after yourself or come up with something else?
Now there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, and ultimately the answer depends on your specific goals in your business.
Let’s look at the first option: naming your brand after yourself.
The advantages here are pretty obvious. The biggest one is that you don’t have to make anything up! It’s just your name!
That part is especially cool when it comes to things like buying web domains, obtaining trademarks and copyrights, and building your SEO online…usually, you have to fight with other people in your market to get the exact string of words you want.
How weird would it be if there was another fitness entrepreneur out there named Bedros Keuilian? Would he have to walk around clean-shaven? Would that make ME the evil twin?
Anyway, naming your brand after yourself also cuts through a lot of the paperwork that comes with having to incorporate your small business (you may eventually have to do this anyway, but at least you don’t have to deal with it right away).
Now, the biggest thing to keep in mind here is that if you name the brand after yourself, YOU ARE the brand. There’s a particular lifestyle that comes with that.
Look, I’ve built the Bedros Keuilian brand for years now and I couldn’t be happier with the results, but it’s not for everyone.
You’ve got to be ready to talk about yourself…and have other people talk about you.
You have to remember that your personal reputation and your professional reputation are almost inseparable. That doesn’t mean you have no room for mistakes…but you do have to be watchful and be able to roll with the punches if something goes wrong.
That also means no posting your drunken antics and sexy selfies all over social media!
Naming your brand after yourself also means that there’s no exit strategy. Either you keep working or you disappear – there’s no selling your brand to anyone else.
Personally, I don’t mind that, because I’m in it for life. Maybe you are too, maybe not. Like I said, this decision all comes down to your own goals.
One last thing about using your own name: some people might argue that having your own brand limits your options down the road as far as changing/expanding your business offering.
Here’s the way I see it: rebranding takes a lot of time and energy no matter what you’re doing. I even think it’s a bit tougher if you’ve already built your brand around the product. (Remember when Starbucks tried to move into alcoholic beverages? Yeah, that didn’t last.)
Bottom line: stay focused on your CURRENT business idea when it comes to branding. Your hypothetical future ideas shouldn’t be a deciding factor either way.
Should I name my brand after myself?
Yes if you’re attracted to the idea of making tons of public appearances/content, being the face of the business, and having a long-term commitment to the business.
Creating a Separate Brand
To begin with, you can think about franchising your business model if it’s not named after you. Or, further down the road, you can sell the business to someone else.
If you’re going to come up with an original name, you have to check to make sure nobody else is using it. You should also check to see if anyone in your market is using a similar name, because if they are that could draw attention away from your own marketing (or worse, drag you into legal trouble).
Now, what is the RIGHT way to decide your original brand name?
Let me use my own franchise, Fit Body Boot Camp, as an example.
First, you need to know who you plan on selling to and what benefit you’re offering them. For FBBC, we’re selling to women ages 30 and up, and we’re offering them fun, convenient, effective fat loss in a boot camp environment.
See that? It’s right in the name! You come to Boot Camp and you get a Fit Body – it’s that simple.
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that…
With your brand name, you also want to come up with something that people will be proud to associate themselves with. If your brand name can reflect the personality of your ideal client, even better.
For Fit Body Boot Camp, our ideal client is a woman who wants to seriously lose weight, but doesn’t have the time or interest to become a full-on fitness nut. And since she’s not a fitness nut, she wants an environment that’s a little more inviting and encouraging.
Fit Body Boot Camp strikes just the right balance for that. It sounds serious, but not as hardcore as CrossFit (which does have a more hardcore audience). Plus, when you say it out loud it sounds sort of playful – maybe even a little quirky.
Just like our target client!
Plus, women can say that they go to “Fit Body Boot Camp” with pride. The name implies that they have a fit body already, and they’re going in to get even more fit. It’s not “Fat Loss Boot Camp” or “Convenience Boot Camp.” Those would be accurate, but they sort of imply that the people going to them are overweight or lazy.
Should I come up with an original name for my brand?
Yes if you want to franchise/sell your business model, or if you don’t like putting yourself in the spotlight.
And most importantly: MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE THE FOCUS! The point of the brand name is not to reflect your unique vision. It’s to get the conversation started in your target client’s mind.
Go name your brand NOW!
Committed to your success,