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Personal Brand vs Business Brand: 5 Effective Ways to Name your Personal Brand

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Choosing a name for your personal brand is fundamental but tricky at the same time. You need to create a name that conveys an overpowering set of features, emotions, and connections in a way that no corporate sounding brand can. A solid personal brand name is powerful and promising.

Personal Branding vs Business Branding

A personal brand is created around you — your characters, your lifestyle, and your interests.

Your birth name was your first personal brand. It is you. When people read it out loud, they immediately visualize your presence, voice, behaviors, hair color, hobbies, etc. anything that represents your characteristics and signatures.

A business brand is developed around an identity you build for your business.

A business brand is practical and intentional. For example, if you open a restaurant and decided to give it a catchy name like Lean Cuisine because this rest is going to serve healthy food (lean) and extremely scrumptious (cuisine). Here you use “this & that” naming technique.

Personal Branding is about building authority that gets people to pay attention to your message and want to share it and recommend it to others.” – Mark Traphagen

A trustworthy personal brand brings you a lot of assets

Remember to position yourself effectively online and offline. Nowadays, everyone wants to appear huge and world-class. Therefore, take a step back and try not to overexpose. Be true to who you are and what you can do or can’t do. It’s good to aim high but be realistic at the same time. Don’t stress out that you need to go big. Trust the process.

A powerful personal brand, particularly in the digital world, can have a great impact on your professional career. People tend to allure to you. Everything you do is what your personal brand articulates to the people.

Of all recruiters, 95% believe that the job market will remain or become more competitive. If you don’t stand out online, your competition will.

75% of HR departments are required to search for job applicants online.

Of all executive recruiters, 90% say they conduct online research of potential candidates.

By Entrepreneur.com 

Visibility is more important than the ability

Choosing the right niche is as important as choosing the right name. Mike Kim, my favorite branding mentor stated: “You might be the best, world-class at what you do, but if no one knows about you, you have no business.” You need to be more intentional with what you already got. Update all of your social media accounts and synchronize everything. Make people familiar with your presence.

“Am I offering something different or more superior than my rivals or those people in the same niche?” The truth is you will offer pretty much the same thing. 

Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto.

Tim Ferris – Author of “4-hour work week”

Your personality and your promises are what make you stand out

What is the thing that makes people want to do business with you?

What makes them want to work and collaborate with you?

Beg on trust and reliability. People love to deal with a real human being with emotions, morality, and values. Not merely a robot. Having a strong personal brand means you take control of your identity and narrative. You know what you are about. Focus on the promises that you give. It works well in the long run. A good personal brand taps into people’s emotions.


5 Ways to Easily Name your Personal Brand

#1 Start with Your Real Name

Many public figures have used this method. Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Elon Musk, Tony Robbins, Simon Sinek, etc… These are the best at what they do.

We think of them as thought leaders: they are change agents who bring innovation while keeping it real, spreading that one message, and adding values. They inspire and to make the world a better place. 

Having a solid personal brand helps articulate who you are as an intellectual, what you do, and how you do it. Start with your real name today.

“It is important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Photo by Mitchell Luo

Benefits of using your original name

Everyone enjoys dealing with a real human. When your original name is your personal brand, people know what to expect. They tend to put their trust in you.

Once you establish a good reputation and a certain amount of success, your personal brand will gain authority. You might even convert guests into clients.

People are curious and want to know what is it about you, that is so extraordinary and radiant. 

But it does come with high demands

Maintain the consistency and a level of professionalism: You are working on your own public image.

If you aim to just work behind the scene, not really up to being transparent to the people. This might not be a great idea. As a personal brand, how can you be intimate without revealing your true identity?

Authenticity connects and evokes souls. 

It might narrow you down into one type of niche 

If you have the expertise or focus on one certain area, it might distract your audience in case you want to change or expand your border in the future.

Work carefully on your long-term strategy, you can rebrand but it’s going to be uncomfortable.

Jeff Bezos is known as the founder of Amazon. He can be a singer if he wants, but people might find it hard to fathom the new entity or may reject it completely.


#2 Name your personal brand after something that has a meaning

Choose a name that you intend to shape it the way you want the people to perceive. It can sound corporate, fancy, up-scale, in rhyme but remember, simplicity is the key to brilliance.

You are going to work with real people, be professional. Avoid names like Cool Beans, Eleven Miles, Super Lean Duck, Black Velvet, Gato Masculino, Holy Weed, etc.


Take a look at some of the most well-known international brands. Can you guess what’s the meaning behind each brand name?

Nike means Goddess of Victory in ancient Greek. 

LEGO was derived from the contraction of the Danish word “leg godt”, which means “play well.” 

SONY: Sonus is the Latin word for sound. 

ADIDAS was actually derived from the name of its founder, Adolf (nicknamed Adi) Dassler. 

REDDIT website name is an intentional play on the phrase “Read it.” 

VOLVO was derived from the Latin word “to roll.” Just roll with it, man.

VOLKSWAGEN: When translated from German, Volkswagen means “people’s car.” 

VERIZON: The cellular carrier combined the Latin veritas (truth) with the English horizon. 

DUREX is simply an abbreviation of Durable, Reliable and Excellent. 

GOOGLE owes its name to a typo. 

GAP refers to the generation gap between adults and kids.

Many got inspired by foreign languages, wordplay, culture, history or mythology, etc. Using the archetypes is one way to come up with your personal name. A little research helps.


#3 Your name + a component = A great compound

Keep it simple. Match your name with your niche, mission, talents, expertise or a category that you want people to recognize you with. It is beneficial for SEO also since your name and the keyword of the service, product, things that you offer, are already in the tagline.

What do you think of these? David The Barber, Mike Real Estate Agent, Sofia Cupcake Home Delivery, Gary UX Web Designer, Elena Travelling Consultant, etc.


#4 Use AI Name Generator

When in doubt, ask the machines. There are a few websites that can help you with it. It is simple to use. 

Visit Namelix to generate your new name for your personal brand.

Using Namelix

Enter your keywords.

Select at least one name length (short, medium, long) 3-12 letters.

Choose Name Style (brandable, misspelling, rhyming words, multiple words, foreign words, real words, person names, compound words, etc.)

Click generate.

How to use Namelix

It will provide you with tons of names that you can choose from or save for later. It also has an option where you can generate a logo by style (vintage, playful, handwriting or modern)

You can check the availability and register that name in case you want the ownership to avoid intellectual property violations. 

Using Shopify Business Name Generator

Enter a keyword that you want your personal brand name to include, click to generate 100 related names. You can even use that name to make a website with Shopify. 

Using Masterpiece Generator

This produces names for characters, babies, authors, or bands. You can search at random or filter and sort by gender, popularity, birth year, country, personality, and many other interesting properties.

Suggest the generator 2 adjectives describe your niche or service, 3 verbs related to that subject, your first and last name, and your location. You will be surprised by the name suggestions which are very catchy.


#5 Brainstorming with Google or Thesaurus

Heard of brainstorming? For instance, I want to sell organic healthy groceries. The green color would be a good match in nature. Randomly google “the greenest places on earth”: Mossy Forest in Malaysia popped up as a result. I can name it as Mossy or just Moss. It has that tropical factor and the image of flowerless plants to-your-face. An ideal name for an organic healthy store.

“Van, I am going to Moss to get some fresh herb. Do you need anything?” This sounds trendy.

When I type “organic” in Thesaurus. It suggested a bunch of words such as biological, nuclear, anatomical, primitive, amoebic, animate, basal, biotic. Or when I type the word Moss, it suggested bog, morass, lichen, etc.

You can be creative and combine, mix, and match, play with words to come up with a relevant name.

This is what I get when I search for “green” on Thesaurus.com

5 things to keep in mind when naming your personal brand

#1 Keep it short, simple and easy to understand. Go for the everyman. No rocket science.

#2 Don’t be too niche-like or too generic. Imagine Amazon named itself after The Bookstore.Com or TheOnlineStore.Com

#3 Understand the difference between a personal brand name and a business brand name. To avoid sounding like a cooperate name or seem bigger than it actually is.

#4 Do not appear too artistic, complicated or mysterious. A no-brainer is a winner.

#5 Take it easy. If you get stuck in the creative process, come back later and trust your consciousness. It is processing your message subconsciously and finding the solution.

Bottom line

My approach is to go with your real name. Why make it so complex by creating a name that you might regret aftermath. It’s essential to deliver your values, promises, and connect with people’s emotions. It is your legacy to the world.

People will find you on Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. This trend will not go away anytime soon. You have all the power to shape your personal brand the way you want people to memorize it.

Be consistent, be real, be outrageous, be You.


6 References

This article was created by combining personal experience and sourcing from different published books, related articles, eBooks, and digital libraries.

Watkins, A. (2014, October 17). 5 Must-Use Tools for Brainstorming Company Names. Retrieved April 4, 2020, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238601 

Tariq, I. (2019, December 30). Why Personal Branding Is a Secret Weapon. Retrieved April 4, 2020, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/343151 

Wilson, P. (2019, October 9). Personal Brand or a Business Brand: Which Is Best for You? Retrieved April 4, 2020, from https://www.bigbrandsystem.com/personal-brand-or-business-brand 

Do You Know What These Famous Brand Names Mean? (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2020, from https://www.trademarknow.com/blog/do-you-know-what-these-famous-brand-names-mean

Munjal, D. (2018, August 2). Make a Name for Yourself: 4 Expert Tips for Choosing a Name and Trademark. Retrieved April 4, 2020, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/317771 

Kim, M. (2020, January 5). What To Name Your Personal Brand Business. Retrieved April 4, 2020, from https://mikekim.com/what-to-name-your-personal-brand-business  

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