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Brand Your Creative Business

Lesson 8 of 22

Naming Your Business & Products

Megan Auman

Brand Your Creative Business

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

8. Naming Your Business & Products

Lesson Info

Naming Your Business & Products

Now we're going to start to talk about kind of once you've got that big purpose. Some of the more specific details of the brand we're starting about name and tagline, and as we go through all of this stuff, I want to remind everyone not to get bogged down in the details of your brand it's really easy to kind of use this, as I call it like the description, the distraction method, right? If you get bogged down in the details, you get to avoid doing like the real hard work, right? Because what we're doing here is hard. I'm going to be perfectly honest with you guys. I know that this stuff I'm asking you to dio thinking about these emotions, creating your purpose. This is hard work, it's not easy, it's way easier in a lot of ways to pick a name for your brand, but because there could be a million names for your brand, what people do is they say, well, I can't move forward until I have the perfect name for the perfect logo or the perfect color, the perfect whatever and I don't want you guys...

to feel like that. I don't want you to feel like I can't move forward until I have the perfect whatever because you should always keep moving forward with your brand, so as we're talking about these details think about them but don't want any of them stop you from moving forward you can always try you can always test you can always kind of go so we want to remember this idea that the brand is an emotional connection repeated over time and that's what I want you guys to hang on to so if you can focus on the brand's core emotions and then use the details to support them but what you'll find is that it doesn't have to be so like you don't have to make it harder than it is we're talking about this over the break monica and you were saying I think I'm making it more complicated than it needs to be and I think that's happening a lot with a lot of people and I also think you know we all want to found really smart right you don't like people feel happy that's like we want to sound like there's so much more nuance there and it's okay so grab those really basic I think ki big picture emotions because that's really what people want at the end of the day people don't want a lot right they want to be happy they want to be loved they want to be connected they want you know they don't want a lot of things so it's okay to think about those big picture things and then we're going to use the details of our brand to support them so we're going to talk about business names for a minute and I know that some people have names that are pretty well set and that's totally fine if you d'oh but I also know that some people are may be struggling with the name doesn't need to change I know some of our audience have had multiple names I think right well we'll get to you a second kathy so when you're thinking about your business name the first thing is a really simple question does your business name support or detract from your purpose don't over think this one it's not like you know if my why is I want the world to have more strong confident women it's not like I have to be like a strong confident jewelry right now you know don't overthink it if my brand if I said that and my brand name was like lovely daisy jewelry that probably doesn't support but using my name that works that's fine so don't overthink that one okay but that's the first question is does your business name support or detract from your purpose? So then what makes a good business name? If you're trying to figure out what the name for your brand should be what makes a good name so first of all it has to be available I know that seems blatantly obvious but it needs to be something of someone else in your space isn't already using do a google search we'll talk about that a second but do a google search you find out right away is it available? It also should be non generic you know, I think that it's first of all it's really hard to defend a generic name so if I were like, I'm the black steel necklace company that's really hard to defend if someone else also starts making black steel necklaces you know a trademark judges like that they're gonna be like, well, it's descriptive it doesn't actually there's nothing unique about it so it shouldn't be generic it should be very specific to you it should also be distinctive it should feel like something different than what's out there. So you know if everyone in your industry is using some variation of the same name, don't do that too think about something different um and then it's google and what I mean by that is if you come up with a phrase that you think makes a phrase or a combination of things that makes sense for your business name and you google it and a lot of other search results come up that you would have to fight against that's not a good name, so if you were like I'm the north creek paper company, I just made that I have no idea where that came from find the north creek paper company and you google north creek paper and you know, north creek this and that comes up in north creek that comes up in north creek whatever comes up, you're gonna have to fight all these other established businesses to ranking google and that's really going to hurt your cause partly because what happens is people talk about your business they tell you that your friend there friend goes home and googles you right? So you want them to be able to find you so that's kind of an important key and then it doesn't fight the purpose that goes back teo, you know, is it detracting from the overall purpose of your brand? Right? So, cathy, you have been through you did a name change, right? So now you're I started off okay, yeah, I guess it did change three times what I was doing, my earrings is called velvet throne and then I totally change that and I was selling on etsy at the time, and I transitioned to selling artwork, which I created a different name for god. I felt like I really resonated with, but in between those two times I had my own separate block, which was when I became a mother and then I started blogging about like, things that I did at home d I y things, and then that was called living my style, so because I had established so much there already and then there was like a following and then there was history and all the postings I did I just linked that with my with glimmer of gold which is my is your brand and so are you finding that there is some confusion around that now I think so yeah and even the look because when I established the look for glimmer of gold it was very distinctive and then at the time of living my style I was going through a transition and I like this I like that and I kind of wanted put everything in there and now I want to do a cohesive yeah name and so it's just been a struggle on you know something that I think when you're thinking about the name and realizing that you might have tio change a little bit is that you don't seem to shed some of that old stuff like I know that it could be really hard especially if you have the following or you have something that's very specific but sometimes a holding onto those old pieces can make it really difficult to move forward with the branch and I think the other the other question that comes up is should you use your own name? So this is something I think comes up a lot with makers I'm thinking it's probably coming up a lot with our photographers in the group right? Should they be under their own name or should they be uh you know she'd be using something else and that is can be a very I think kind of personal decision but if you're going to use your own name you should apply that same framework that we just looked at so is it available and with the name thing you have to actually look at all the social media as well because if you have a fairly common name the worst thing you could do is have your business beyond as you know like meghan omine two four five six seven because there were that many other there's not that many other megan almonds but there's a few you know so if your name is not distinctive if it's fairly common all of those things mean that you should probably develop a separate brand name nobody can spell it that's the other one exactly if no one if your name is hard to spell or hard to pronounce that's a good sign and you did something really interesting sara where you used part of your name and part I used I'm not sure if I want to change the name yeah let's talk about this because my the boo is mine that's my nickname from my mom when I was a baby um maccaulich nobody can spell it and there are but there are other sarah metallics doing different things um that come up on google so I know it's available and everything it's that last one um and now redefining my brand you know will help determine right, but I've had some reactions to it some some good and some to the sarah boo yeah and so what you're using right now using sarah boo designs lines ok? And so you're thinking and works just for that you're thinking you need you maybe need to make the change right or you're not sure yeah yeah well yeah I mean, I don't know but I don't have any other alternatives but it's it's it's cute see you know uh and I'm not cute see yeah so I think this is is probably a case where your name is fighting against the purpose of your brand. I think this is a perfect example of that right? Is qc on dh and even though it has, I think a meaning and a personal story behind it it's not a meeting in a personal story that's connected to what your brand is about your brand isn't about child you if it was you kathy was telling me by my rank is named after the nickname that my mom gave me when I was a kid all that makes so much sense that's what your brand is about but in your case it's not what it's about so I think that you know you for you I would set down and brainstorm kind of what are some other ideas and I think in your case you know you could still do sara something designs because I think that would make that transition easier for you not having teo completely go for something else um so we can you can kind of play with that I will make you come up with new business names on the spot okay, but I think you're right and thinking that maybe you do need to change the name and then I know wes you go buy a couple different websites did you have a specific name that you're working with or evolve evolve different because it's it's all about the same thing right? He wouldn't from like lucky charm for me to fully clover something and now I just fully cover nicholas it's just straight up his right hand. So and I think the case with yours is that you know, that is a name that would be very hard to defend. I think you know, anyone else could start saying also that they have a four leaf clover necklace I mean, so I wonder if in your case, if there's a way tio kind of create a name that makes the brand feel a little bit more special to people or that makes them feel a little bit more of that sense of like, happy go lucky I don't know what that is off the top of my head but it's something to think about um so if you do need to change your name there are a couple of key steps that you can kind of follow first of all make sure it's available I know that's again blame the obvious but we're gonna say it anyway and then registering the new name with whoever you need to register that with whether it's no business bureau I know we have people from all over the world so I'm not we're not going to talk specifics but make sure you've got that registered also change your domain name this is really important because what happens is people think okay, I'm gonna change my name but but I have this old domain names so I shouldn't change that that's really confusing to people so if you're saying you know my new brand is sarah something designs where is going to use that as our place holder but then you're still sending people to sarah boo designs that's confusing to them the beauty is that you can forward any domain and you could forward the individual lengths of any domain so I think that's a case also with you kathy where you've got these multiple domain's order these old names all of that should just forward onto the new domain and break all that old stuff away so and that's actually something that I did with you know, when I went from crafting an mba to designing an mba is I changed all those you know, all the links forwards if you still go to the old urals it works but there's no longer there's nothing that exists under the old name I think that's really important and then of course change your social media handles and the links to them I know that starts to get complicated, but every project, every social media lets you just change them so you just change them and then you fixed the links and keep your customers in the loop let people know that you're going through this rename this rebrand it's really especially important with your email list because if they're used to seeing something come in from one name and a different name pops up, they're not going to open it they're gonna think it's spam so before you change the name, give your customers a couple heads up and then you know, let them know once the name has changed. So the other area we're naming comes into play in your business is naming your products and this could be a really important area in terms of brand recognition also because it helps people feel again connected to the products and when you're thinking about your product names, you want to be concrete, not descriptive concrete meaning really distinct and there is an example that I love from the book made to stick which we talked about earlier and they're talking about the nature conservancy and the nature conservancy if you're not familiar with what they dio they most of the time by land to preserve it that's kind of their thing if we buy it no one else can ever build it it's fine that's how we do it but there are occasionally areas that are so big that they can't buy it so then they have to have these preservation campaigns and I love this example they used where they're talking about this big area of land to the east of silicon valley and with this area there's clearly there's money there there's people who want to preserve land but they need to get abel invested in the project so they just invented a name we're gonna call it the mount hamilton wilderness no one it was never called anything before they just gave it that name and what happened was people suddenly felt invested in that area because it had a specific name instead of just this idea of its an important area to the east of silicon valley they were like we're going to save the mount hamilton wilderness right does not sound way more impressive so you could do the same thing with your product names so when I was first starting out I used like the most descriptive generic product names ever I was like steel and silver leaf necklace steel and await long steel and silver leaf necklace right? So not only was it not exciting, it was also very cumbersome because the names could apply to a lot of things. So I decided to take this as an opportunity tio do something that felt like my brand and also give my product something people could latch on to. So now all of my necklaces are actually named after women who make a statement so um susan is susan b anthony amelia's emelia erhard all of these are named after women that I felt kind of embody what I wanted my brand to be. Now I don't talk about that a ton it's not like I say this is the necklace that's named after a million erhard though if you read the you know, some of the names are pretty distinctive, right? But I don't talk about that, but when I noticed happening immediately was that I thought I'm just gonna change these names on my website, right? My wholesale customers, we're still going to deal with skews and item numbers and my customers would start emailing me and they weren't giving in my holster customers they weren't giving me excuse anymore they were like, hey, can you send me the anti necklace so people immediately latched on to that so with your product names again, this is an opportunity to give people something to latch onto now for some like for cathy years we're going to be pretty straightforward thie beautiful print already has kind of that thing you don't have to give it another product name on top of it but I mean you monica for you this might be an opportunity what do you you have? You know those kind of three distinct products so what do you calling them? We just call it the diaper clutch by color okay? Wet bag by color and the nursing scarf by color so years I think in your case where you could probably get creative that are with your color names and are you doing something kind of interesting without now? Are they fairly standard? We have all of them standard and we just have one seasonal repeat so I think I think maybe years I get the product names being fairly basic but I would you know, instead of calling it like blue is there something more exciting you can use and the same thing with your prints so maybe it's an opportunity to bring in that kind of brand element there um and then and sarah I don't know well your call your pieces but there could be some room floor they're very botanical so give them flower names and their specific flowers yes also knees and yeah, I think that's really good because it again it gives people something very specific to latch onto um and I know I think what some of you are thinking that if you do this are you gonna lose your search in your ceo I think we probably have matty sellers who are panicking right now uh I want to show you guys this just is an example you can still use descriptions but you can also see that somewhere in there I called it the maya necklace right so you don't have to on my website I'm not worried about that about the search so much I you know they're coming because they are you know, my brand and I want these really clear names but if you're worried about search you can still use descriptions but somewhere in there give your products those very specific names because it's going to help people feel more invested with it you know you rather tell people like I'm I want the maya necklace or I'm wearing the maya necklace then like I'm wearing the two tone hombre shift necklace leads a lot so think about that in terms of your products on dh then actually this is a good example no freshly picked obviously they have that kind of one product but they really do a lot of fun stuff with the color names so it's not greene it's sprout it's not um you know this pink and gold it's it's amore so they're really trying to be evocative off something when they're playing with those names so how can you change your product names to be more tangible? If you're using these really kind of generic boring, not emotional, visceral names, how can you change them? How can you change them to have more emotional resonance? And then, you know, where can you borrow names from? You know what places or people or things might call the mind the key emotions of your brand. So this is my friend meg, and she really kind of thinks of herself or portrays her brand is this very, like high end designer she refers to her studio is her attila, and she uses all of these really fancy french names that I personally can't pronounce, but she also happens tio he's, fluent french. So, you know, she's using this to of oak, a certain feeling about her brand. So, you know, how can you use that to kind of come in there and again make people feel connected to your brand through your product names? You got any questions about that? Are we people have been actually really contributing different thoughts for our studio audience? Is they've been sharing artist sandra was saying, actually, for sarah that, uh, maybe you should look up the goddess, sarah. And see what sort of words are certainly around them. Then you have that theme of goddess jewelry. Bother trying into your first name rather than your nickname, maybe, like get interesting idea, and something else was saying that they've chosen because they name fabrics after spark laughs. I'm sorry are named after european cities, in colors with cinnamon, with the city nice, they've got some different ideas, come working like little ideas. Yeah, yeah, and it's. Amazing how, just picking those names that are evocative people really latch onto those and it's a it's, a little shift that could have a really big impact on your business.

Class Description

Every small business owner shares two common goals: increasing sales and marketing more effectively. One of the most powerful ways to achieve these goals is to define and tell the story of who you are as a creator. That story is your brand, and a strong understanding of how to tell that story to your customers will take your business to new heights.

In Brand Your Creative Business, you’ll explore what makes your business a unique brand and find ways to share it. You’ll learn about implementing a brand strategy and growing and protecting it. Megan Auman will teach:

  • Why branding matters
  • How to define your brand
  • Storytelling to promote your business
  • How to develop a strategy to implement your plans

You’ll leave this course equipped and energized to create a strong, consistent presence in every aspect of your company – from packaging to customer interaction and beyond. You’ll also develop the confidence use colors, logos, and fonts to reflect your style - even if you’re not a designer

Whether you’re an Etsy seller looking to grow or an occasional crafter trying to build a full-time business, this course will give you the tools you need to connect with customers and sell more products.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Resources.pdf

Megan Auman - Branding Bibliography.pdf

Megan Auman - DIY Photography Resources.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Syllabus.pdf

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Workbook.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

I was drawn in immediately. Megan's ability to tender precise, goal-oriented, and REAL life experience-infused information is what captivated me the most...AND...I logged in 30 minutes late on the first day of her class. I am excited to know that her course is STILL available, and on sale a couple of days after it aired live. TY CreativeLive for this opportunity; it is truly a gift to myself which will keep on giving...I have often used storytelling to build my brand, but Megan's guidance has given me a structured approach, which I really needed. Paying it forward, and sharing her amazing course with others will be a joy, as I feel an obligation to others I know, and those I have yet to know, all who will benefit from her plethora of carefully cultivated information. Her use of emotional connections to build a brand, and to reach a solid audience based on one's authentic voice is clear, clean, and easy to follow. Thank You Megan Aumen!


This is such a great class! Great content, great advice, great examples...great, great, great!! I'm so happy that I have a clear path to create a great brand for my business. Very empowering! I especially love the bonus information, especially the video on how to make your own logo in Illustrator. Exactly the information I've been looking for. Great job, Megan!

Laura Captain Photography

I'm in the process of launching a creative business and this class was what I was looking for. With procrastination and indecision cast aside, I will now confidently plan and carry out a productive and well organized branding strategy of my own. Before this class I felt somewhat confused and overwhelmed by all the miscellaneous branding information I had been trying to piece together. Even though I already knew some of the information she covered in the class, she put her own spin on it, gave some great examples and put it in an easy to follow plan. I particularly liked the segments related to naming your business and social media branding because I had a lot of questions on those topics. I'm very excited to get started with branding my business and I'm so glad I took the time to go through Megan's class, it will be so worth it in the long run. A big shout out to Megan, I love your business branding, your jewelry and your teaching style, great work!