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Company Name advice please?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Owenjones, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Owenjones

    Owenjones Member


    I could do with some advice please - any thoughts are welcomed thanks!

    I've recently (today!) left my full time job and am now self employed. I've been part time self employed for around 3 years now, and my website Artboyart has been around for longer than that as a personal showcase.

    One of the first things I need to sort out is a change to my current ‘Artboyart’ alter-ego/pseudonym/company name. Reasons for this stem from research I conducted in Summer 2009 when I asked a few key people about their thoughts on the name as I was starting to push my part time freelance work and self promotion a little harder.

    General thoughts were that Artboyart was a good quirky name (it stems from an old university nickname) which worked well in the context of a small scale, part time, a little-bit-of-work-for-friends-here-and-there type of set up – such as it was, and that I should keep it for the time being. However, it would be worth reconsidering this as and when I took the step to go full time. Main reasons were to ensure I was taken seriously as a professional and quality service rather than appearing to be a ‘boy in his bedroom’ working for pocket money!

    That step to full time is now upon me and I’ve spent some time considering my options. I’d very much like to test a couple of ideas and gauge your thoughts and opinions if I may.

    One thing to consider is that I’m happy with the overall look and feel of my branding, including the logo mark I use on Owen Jones, Graphic Design, Plymouth and all my stationery (see my avatar).

    The logo began around 7 years ago as a series of concentric circles, representing the ‘O’ of my name, tied in with the idea of communication as the circles spread outwards. It’s been refined over that period, and I believe it has a certain amount of brand familiarity which I’m keen not too change too much.

    As far as naming is concerned, I have three ideas at present. I’ve looked into some ideas for domain names along these routes to check viability.

    If you could take a few minutes to let me know your first impressions of these name ideas and which you think would work best I’d appreciate your feedback. Also, if you have any other fantastic ideas you’d like to share, or thoughts around the subject, please also feel free to suggest them!

    Option 1:
    Owen Jones Design / Owen Jones Creative

    Original huh! I had been dead set against this as I didn’t like the idea of calling a potential client or supplier and saying hi it’s Owen Jones from Owen Jones design. Simple as that really – I thought this would feel clunky and awkward. However, a few people have suggested I reconsider it as an option, so I am. Maybe it’s good to say ‘It’s Owen from Owen Jones Desgin’ as they will then know they’re talking to the top man in the ‘company’, or maybe it will sound like the one man band that it is, and not have the ‘bigger capability’ feel I’d like. Any thoughts?

    Option 2:
    Ovation Design / Ovation Creative

    I like the idea of Ovation as a positive word meaning acclaim or applause, that (a) begins with ‘O’ and therefore works well with the logo above; (b) has similarities with the words ‘Creation’ and ‘Innovation’. There are one or two other companies in the sector that use the name Ovation, but none that I feel I’d directly compete with (ie. They’re in America or they are in a slightly different field ie. Multimedia).

    Option 3:
    Ovative Design

    One way of avoiding sharing the name of another company would be to invent a new word. Ovative takes my ‘Ovation’ idea and mixes it with Creative or Innovative to make a new word. Is it memorable enough? How does it sound to you?

    Any thoughts you have, like I say, please feel free to comment, suggest, advise or critique! I’m looking to make a decision fairly swiftly and begin work on the brand overhaul in the next week or so.

    Cheers for your time.
  2. berry

    berry Active Member

    As the Numbnut who created the term 'Creative' as a brand descriptor many years back- lose it as it is overused and devalued. KISS keep it simple - Stick with Owen Jones. no creative/design/no nuthing.... It has a good phonetic roll. Stop thinking of yourself as one man - Imagine the name/brand on the wall of the reception of 6 foot high with 50 staff. A brand is a promise of consistancy, not a logo. A name and logo is mechanical branding nothing more. What you are and what you represents is the bigger issue. After a year the name is immaterial.Think beyond. ( Armadillo, came from the index pages of a cookery book ) A name is just a name. a brand is what you are.
  3. Owenjones

    Owenjones Member

    Cheers Berry, sticking with the name seems like a popular suggestion from the people I've consulted, although I still slightly think that it actually makes you seem much MORE like a one man band when it's a name. That said, Owen Jones is fairly ambiguous as it could be two surnames, as in Minale Tattersfield etc.
    I'm keen to sort out the name now so that it's correct and after a year I don't find I need to change it for whatever reason.
    All helpful comments though, cheers.
  4. Duncan Y.

    Duncan Y. Senior Member

    The option 1 sounds good! better than the rest. Have a personal touch. You represents the brand. and i totally agree with Berry upon the "Owen Jones" only suggestion. Like 'Jamie Oliver' you guys have over there? Sounds cool! I once use the nick 'Duncan McDuncan' as well! :p (well, i just thought i was cool then i make use of that and try Google or Yahoo for that name...on my own search the 8 out of 9 is on page 1! the last one is not mine... :D)

    Owen Jones... Another important name to remember if i want to enter this field. Cheers! ;)
  5. stay clear of 'key words' such as creative, graphics, design etc as if you want to SEO in the future, will cost a fortune
  6. BenJonesDesign

    BenJonesDesign Active Member

    Using keywords is actually a good thing. Berry is right in that creative / design etc is used too much ,i know i know, I have it in my name, but for the purposes of SEO and getting a bit of recognition on search eangines such as google, having a keyword in your name / url is a bonus. I've read and been told about a lot of theories with SEO and the main ones seem to be keyword density and having it in your name / url is one of the biggest ways of getting points with google.

    Well that's just my opinion anyway, personal is best but you should consider using a keyword of sort.
  7. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Personally, I would forget the SEO aspect of choosing a name, unless you have a huge budget to invest in SEO and compete for generic terms like graphic design or web design then it's highly unlikely to make a difference.

    As for the names suggested I'm going to agree with Berry, 'Owen Jones' on it's own has a confidence about it, and from my own experience of spending way too long thinking about company names, registering domains and designing logos for them, only to drop them a few weeks later, don't spend too long thinking about it (your clients won't) :)
  8. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    Just 'Owen Jones' works for me.
  9. allyally2k

    allyally2k Senior Member

    Just 'Owen Jones' deffo! It's a nice name use it to your advantage!
  10. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    Or give me your name, and change yours to something else?
  11. Owenjones

    Owenjones Member

    Ha, cheers all. That helps a lot. Except Renniks, sorry mate but you're gonna need to make do with your own name for now! ;)
  12. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    bit late to the party on this but you could just take your initials OJ and play on that - OJ=orange juice which can then be the theme of your site etc :)
  13. jamieleung

    jamieleung Member

    take a look at the amazing Elliot Jay Stocks About » Elliot Jay Stocks
    he doesn't bother with fancy company names, just plain old Elliot Jay Stocks.

    I feel that using a real name gives it a more personal touch and makes the client feel like they are communicating with you directly Owen Jones.
  14. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    Elliot does have a really cool name though :)
    Owen's is good
    Mine I'm still not sure on, but bought the domain anywayt
  15. wac

    wac Senior Member

    If you want a web presence I would suggest using as many keywords within your own company name as you can. That's SEO 101, you don't have to worry about competing for them if they're in addition to your own name. Forget 'creative' and stop somewhere before you get to Owen Jones, the Graphic, Web and Merchandising Designer for the UK ltd.
  16. jamieleung

    jamieleung Member

    haha yeah Eliot does have a great name to pull it off ;)
  17. CLangley

    CLangley Junior Member

    I know I'm only a newby on here but I agree that 'Owen Jones' stands alone very well. I have never used SEO, yet if you Google 'Chris Langley' my name is at the top, I also use Graphic & Web Design in the page titles on every page and that comes up nicely in google searches also. Eg 'Langley Graphic Design' brings me again on the first page.

    I would go stand alone and use keywords effectively in other places. An 'About Me' page as a home page is a great way to get spotted.

    Finally, Tell people to google for you, works great on your stats and visibility!!

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