Unless you’re new here, by that I mean THIS week new here, you would have notice that we’ve been making some big changes around here. The 1st being the most obvious: We are no longer “Vanessa’s modern vintage home” but are now “Hearthwood Home” (insert cheers)!!!! I can’t tell you how good it’s felt to have this brand name change load off my back. I have been wanting to do this for such a long time and it is now done!! Naturally, a result of this has been a flood of questions from you lovely people: “why did you change your name?” or “how did you choose a business or brand name?” Well, it’s about time I answer some of those questions isn’t it?
The answer to the question is quite simple really: I changed the name of the business because I did not spend much time thinking about a name the first time. When I chose the name of my business initially, I didn’t really know what I was doing. Since that time, what started as a random little blog has grown into a shop, and online store. If you have been following us since the very beginning, when I was selling furniture outside of my home, you will recall that we used to go by “Vanessa’s Modern Vintage Home.” Doesn’t that just feel long and cumbersome to have to say and remember? I always felt like people always got bored and stopped listening after the word “modern” when I would tell them the name of my brand. That is NOT the response or feeling one wants to get from their branding. I realized that pretty much instantly and since then have been intending to change it but always felt a bit intimidated by the task.
However, as this little business started to grow, the change was inevitable. Intimidation was no longer enough of an excuse not to do it. If I wanted to see more success, I needed to come up with a name that I could be proud to speak of. I am happy to say that “Hearthwood Home” is that name! If you are in a similar rut to what I was in, I wrote down the steps I took to create my re-branding name and I think that you will find them to be helpful.
Step 1: keep it short and sweet
Think of one of your very favorite POPULAR brands! It matters that they are popular in their niche because that is the point of building a brand: to reach as many people in that niche as possible. Remember that a brand can be built around a person, store, or product. Now think of their name? How many syllables are in their name? Odds are, most of these names are short and sweet with no more than 4 syllables, most likely 3. Think: A-ma-zon, A-pple, Mag-no,li-a, Ma-cys, T-J-Maxx, Star-bucks, best-buy… Now, there are exceptions to the rule, of course! When your name is as cool as Res-to-ra-tion hard-ware, you can get away with 6 syllables but the point is: the general rule is that most successful companies keep their names short and sweet. Vanessa’s Modern Vintage Home had 8 syllables and does not sound so cool. Some of you may have only known us as “A modern Vintage Home.” That’s because once I realized my mistake, I tried to salvage the situation without having to do an impulse rename and “A modern Vintage Home” was the best I could do.
Speaking of impulses, at one point in the beginning when I tried to do an impulse rename, I changed the name of the brand to “Impulse of love” (eye roll). Can you imagine the creeps I would get to a domain name like that? I’m thankful that the guy had way more sense than I did and suggested that we just stuck to “Vanessa’s Modern Vintage Home” for the time being.
If you are from Instagram, you’ll have to go live with me on Friday morning at 8 est. to find out why I did such a dreadful thing. There’s actually a very good reason! 🙂
Step 2: Freestyle brainstorming is always a good start.
The most daunting part regarding how to choose a business or brand name is to start. For us, it seemed so impossible. Where do we start? So, one day while Matt and I were driving a 2 hour trip back home, we brainstormed everything that was important to us. If it came to our mind, we wrote it down. Words like rain, porch, music, mangoes, coconut, hymns, faith, Jesus, shoes, bed, home, wood burning fire decor, …. you get the idea. The list was about 40 words long. Out of those 40 words, we narrowed down ideas and concepts and came up with “Hearthwood.” Freestyle brainstorming is always a good start. You just need to start and once you do, you will at least have some options to narrow down.
Step 3. Pick a name that could be the same across all social media accounts.
The conventional and obvious wisdom is to choose a business or brand name that you can use on all social media platforms including your website. This is so that if someone knows you from one social media platform, they can easily find you on the others. But you guys, is there a greater paradox in 2018 than a business or brand name that is short and sweet AND also available on all social media accounts? I think not. This makes it so hard to pick a name. Truly. You will find that if the domain name is not taken, the Instagram, facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest is taken. Another dilemma with regards to domain names is that sometimes, the domain name may be available but only at auction. This means that someone saw the value in the domain name and purchased it when it was cheap with the intention of selling it for more money to the highest bidder. Capitalism at work. I am not knocking it. That is more likely to happen to the short domains. No one will buy Vanessasmodernvintagehome(dot)come with hopes of reselling it for a pretty penny but they will buy hearthwood(dot)come because it will indeed fetch a pretty.
Step 4: Play around with the name that you want to make it work for social media.
Not being able to get the exact name that you want on all the social media platforms does not have to be the end of that name. This just means that you have to get creative. On my quest to change the name of my brand, simply “Hearthwood” is what I wanted to name my brand but the domain was at auction for $10,000 (whoah!!!), and the name was taken on Instagram and Pinterest. It’s not taken on Facebook but Facebook has a rule against naming your business anything that too closely resembles the name of a city and so, that name was out but, the entire concept did not need to be. My brand and business mainly focuses on home and interior decorating in the context of gospel centered living. This opened up a few more possibilities. Simply adding the word “home” to the end of it made it possible for me to get the domain name that I wanted on all of my platforms. It was not available on Instagram but a simple (dot) fixed that (@hearthwood.home).
Well, there you have it: my tips and tricks! I hope that it helps you on you search to name your business and develop your brand. By the way, if you’re curious about why we specifically chose “Hearthwood,” come back next week. I gave you a hint above but I’m not sure if you caught on. Did you catch on? Maybe you did! If you did, shhh….don’t spill the beans! Come back next week to find out!
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