My name or my company name?

RobCummingsRobCummings Posts: 1subscriber
edited September 2008 in Business Planning
Ok, I`m an architectural, print, and web designer (yes, design is a broad brush).  When I started my own company back in 2001, I used the name Studio Equis as the umbrella for my services.  My thinking then was that a company name carried more credibility than the name of just some guy (me).  I`m still a small studio, but I`ve done some pretty large projects by partnering with other companies and using remote consultants and freelancers to help me out.
Many years ago, I had a client suggest to me that I should change my company name to my name.  Incidentally, he was an interior designer and used his own name for his company.  This planted a seed and had me paying attention to how my clients interact with me.  When referring others to my services, I get the feeling they say, "here, call Rob," neglecting my admittedly obscure company name altogether. 
I`m getting ready to freshen my image/brand and print some new cards, so now is the perfect time to ask this question:  Should I re-brand and use my name or continue using my company name?  Is something like this worth just flat-out asking my closest clients? 
My 13-yo says he`d rather deal with a company than just "some guy."  Interesting insight, but most of my business comes from referrals and I`ve been around long enough that I don`t feel like I`m just "some guy" like I was starting out.  The client that started this so long ago even suggested using something like "Rob Cummings designs, exclusively at Studio Equis" or some similar spin.
Thanks for any and all insight,
Rob
http://studioequis.com

Comments

  • RobCummingsRobCummings Posts: 1subscriber
    Well... Sears, Marshall Fields, Macy`s, Dell, Dodge, Ford, JP Morgan, Chase, Hewlett-Packard, Lowe`s and many, many other real-name-based companies come to mind, but they`ve obviously spent many, many dollars in order for me to recognize their brand.
    They (whomever "they" are) say that your company name should advertise its biggest asset, which I could consider to be myself.  After all, my customers are coming to me for the value I provide through my services,  right?  I suppose my potential customers could go to Cutting Edge Design Inc., but I wonder what makes them so special.  I`m not there.  Does that make sense?
    Why is it, then, that so many professional service firms (law, design, marketing, etc) use the founder`s names while those that produce a product don`t?  Interesting.RobCummings9/18/2008 4:34 PM
  • RobCummingsRobCummings Posts: 1subscriber
    So, does name not really matter if you have a good product or service?
  • RobCummingsRobCummings Posts: 1subscriber
    It`s funny how all those names I mentioned don`t give any clue as to what they do, and Lowe`s is the only one whose logo may give a slight clue. 
    If I were to re-brand using my name, I think my name would *be* my logo and the look and feel (and maybe the word "designer" next to my name) would carry the message of what I do.
    I`m still curious to know what others think.  I may even pull a few close clients aside and ask them.
  • RockinJoeRockinJoe Posts: 0subscriber
    If I had a name that was difficult to spell or pronounce, I would head the other way. I went to school with a guy named James Hasporniantello. He later on in life opened a computer repair shop. You guessed it.... A-1 Computer Co.
  • eventbrandereventbrander Posts: 6subscriber
    As a design company if you want to stay small and keep it freelance I don`t think it matters either way.
    If you want to grow the company and charge a higher premium in time I`d use a company name that would house all the talent.
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