Making Your Mark: Crafting a Business Name
Coming up with a unique business name can be quite a task. And trust me, with a name like TahJah, I know the advantages as well as the disadvantages of having a unique name. However, being in the creative field my uncommon name has actually been quite helpful. That extra time I spend getting the pronunciation right people tend to actually remember it! I knew when naming my business that was the type of interaction I was looking for.
Here are some of the steps I took into coming up with “Quaint+Whim” I hope this helps you guys in your future endeavors.
START WITH THE FAMILIAR:
What business names do you fancy now? When I was making that list I noticed that I was drawn more to company names that had nothing to do with the business directly. (Anthropologie, Artifact Uprising, Apple…) In my opinion I think it is best to be more generic than specific.
However other companies have more direct names: (Urban Outfitters, Toys ‘R Us, Burger King)
Or you could be more interested in neologisms, which are made-up word mash-ups : (Pinterest, Instagram, Travelocity)
START WITH WHAT YOU KNOW:
Make a list, it is just as important to note what you don’t want, just as much as it is to know what you do want. For me:
- I wanted a name that would grow with me
- I did not want my name in the business
- I did not want a direct word for what I did in the business name (Photography/illustration)
- I wanted my name handle to stick out and strike a “clickable curiosity”
DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS AND AUDIENCE:
Who are your ideal clients and how your business can fit their needs. For me I love taking something that is traditional and putting a spin on it. Families are my target audience, and lifestyle photography is very different than what they might be expecting. I knew I wanted a name to showcase that their sessions would be very different than their traditional sessions.
MAKE A LIST AND MIX AND MATCH:
This is my favorite part, crafting a list of words, phrases, and business names that best suites your business identity. No need to overthink here just be free. After you have your list I do the “Process of Highlighting”. I like to go through my list and call out the words that capture my attention, instead of the traditional “Process of elimination” where you are crossing out words that you don’t like. With highlighting the words jump off the page and makes it easier to notice. Make sure that the words you pick follow your guidelines you set earlier. (I did not highlight words like, lifestyle, photography, design, etc.) Combine words and think of phrases commonly used with that word. If you are interested in neologisms, this is where you can mash-up words.
RESEARCH YOUR NAME AND TEST IT OUT:
When trying to settle, the best option is to say it out loud. When you feel comfortable with saying the name out loud make sure you do some research to see if this name is already taken or if it is to close to competition already out there. I highly recommend you suggesting that name to your ideal clients more so than your friends and family. Though they could be helpful in this process, you want to be sure it is attracting your right audience.
When I would describe what I wanted for my business name I would say I wanted something quirky and whimsical. Several months later I came up with Quaint+Whim. “…on a whim” is one of my go to phrases, especially when I would talk about what I did, “….and I do photography and illustrations ‘on a whim’.” As a creative something very important to me is learning and mixing both traditional and digital art. I also do both photography and illustration. I noticed a common theme of “this-and-that”, each being sort of an extreme to the other. So with that “Quaint+Whim” was born. Quaint in the tradition and on a whim with the modern times.
So furthermore, let me introduce myself,
My name is TahJah Harmony, and I am the owner and visual artist behind Quaint+Whim located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I do both digital and film photography as well as traditional ink and nib calligraphy and digital lettering. I absolutely adore learning my craft and mixing traditional with digital art. I believe a client can never truly appreciate their photos unless they are printed. My favorite part of being a creative is learning your story and visually translating it. I fancy myself a storyteller and I am insanely passionate about what I do.