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Old September 25th, 2011, 10:24 AM   #1
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How important is your business name?

Simple question, really. Is there such a thing as a 'better' name for a wedding video business? Is using your own name (John Doe Wedding Films) preferable to something like "Artistic Memories" or something?

I'm thinking of re-branding my business. My old/current name is Excalibur Productions. I've been thinking of either Bill Emunds Wedding Films or Gulf Road Films. Thoughts?
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Old September 25th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #2
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Re: How important is your business name?

I've been running under my own name for all the years I've been self employed which is since 1971. As a still photog and video guy I've never changed but back in the day as a freelancer people knew MY name so it just made sense to stay with my name for my business.
I know a lot of guys that have more business sounding names for their business but they also have more than just themselves shooting. They might have 3,4,5 or more guys shooting on any given weekend. For me, I never wanted that so I just stayed with my name. As a solo operator, it becomes personal choice I guess.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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Re: How important is your business name?

That's a really good question Bill. I've been thinking about starting a new brand and still hesitating what name to give it. Since I have an obvious asian name, I'm wondering how well this would sound to non-asian clients in general as it might be more difficult for them to pronounce and remember - and would it actually affect my business overall?

If I was a world renowned filmmaker, I don't think that'll be a problem but right now, I guess I just want to find a name that's catchy and easy for people to remember, but still haven't found anything that really represents me yet.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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Re: How important is your business name?

I would not concentrate on a great name for a great name's sake, but instead think about the web and search engines when coming up with a name. That is if getting on the first page of search results is important to you. If not, then just come up with a name that reflects your business model and video style. If you are cinematic, films in the name is good. If you are conventional video, video is better.

I personally dislike frilly or sentimental sounding names, but that is me.

"Edmund's New Hampshire Wedding Video" would be nice, though a bit long.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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Re: How important is your business name?

My business name for my full production business is Scioto Valley Productions but I've branded my wedding side of the business is branded SVPweddings.com because we offer low cost affordable Videography and photography which is what you think of when you see a business branded as a dot com business. Personally, I don't think "Films" should be in your business title unless you are shooting on DSLR's. Just seems misleading.

I am, however, rebranding my business to SVP Media Group because most people can't pronounce Scioto correctly. Already registered the name, just need to actually rebrand everything.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: How important is your business name?

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Personally, I don't think "Films" should be in your business title unless you are shooting on DSLR's. Just seems misleading.
Haha, I take it one step further. I don't think "films" should be in your name unless you're shooting . . . film. Call me crazy.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #7
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Re: How important is your business name?

Using films in a name is simply a marketing stategy, IMO. DSLRs are no more film than video cameras are. As soon as I see films in a name I think creative or cinema. This is how I think the public would generally see it as well, which is what is important. How videographers interpret things is not nearly as important as how potential customers see it.

On the other hand, there are Hollywood film studios that use "pictures" in their name but they don't shoot photos for a living either. Touchstone Pictures, etc. I say, who cares? It's all nonsense anyway.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #8
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Re: How important is your business name?

Jeff,

You're right, films generally makes you think of cinema like. That's why I made the comment about DSLR's. They at least produce a cinema like image. I don't think the term fits for a business running around shooting on standard cameras that don't give that look. In that case, I think video(s) is a more appropriate term. I know it's about marketing but if you label yourself as films and can't produce that type of look, it won't be long before your reputation gets to be the guy with a cool name but that brides should stay away from. You'd be surprised how fast that negative word of mouth advertising can spread amongst brides.

At my first bridal show, it didn't take long before I knew (by listening to brides comments) who the guy was with the fancy booth and cool name that most were saying to stay away from because his videos were awful. The fanciest gear and coolest name means nothing if you can't deliver the high quality video the bride expects. Rest assured, her impression of the video will be communicated to all her single friends who will tell all their friends getting married and so on and so on.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #9
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Re: How important is your business name?

I do know what you mean Michael, of course. However, there are those who shoot with regular video cameras that do produce film like videos, and I think also film can infer more of a storytelling approach, which is another thing I think of with the term.

I also understand what you mean about those that abuse terms and jargon to pull in unsuspecting folks. Some guys want to think of themselves as artistic and barely know how to turn their cameras on!
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Old September 25th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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Re: How important is your business name?

There is a story as to why we went with Mintyslippers but one of the reasons we went with it was its memorable. How many times do you walk away from a wedding and say to your other shooter "What was that photographers name again?". For some reason, us humans have trouble remembering names... well, most do. And given most photogs go by their real name it adds to the pain. Mintyslippers also stands out in search results.

We too opted to avoid the sentimental name. Partly because when we started the plan was to do more than weddings so didnt want to get stuck.

You also have to think long term. What if you expand and get additional shooters. The value of the business is then in your name, your the one they want to shoot your wedding. Good in one way as you can possibly charge more for you and less for your B-crew. Bad in that... well, everyone will want you.

Mintyslippers is a brand that covers many shooters. We identify myself and Julie as the key people and introduce more as they come along.

But a brand name is only around 10% of you, your brand story is the real catch.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 07:52 PM   #11
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Re: How important is your business name?

Hey Bill

I really do like the personalised idea rather than some obscure name... Bill Edmunds denotes that personal touch.... technically of course, neither video cameras or DSLR can produce a wedding film!! Films are shot on film !!! But if you are high end there is no reason not to use the terminology wedding film .... I guess it depends on what brides see wedding shoots as in your area??? The thing you need to figure out is what the average bride will type into Google!!!

Wedding videos, wedding films, wedding dvds, wedding videography .... Seriously stay with the personal touch but for goodness sake don't get too soppy!! "Rambling Roses Wedding Videos" screams of Uncle Ted who has decided to use his little camcorder to make some money!!!

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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:25 AM   #12
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Re: How important is your business name?

I use my own name and still send out 3 freelance shooters ( I charge less for them). Make sure your name tells what you offer. I shoot DSLR but since I don't shoot film, I don't call myself a filmmaker. I also wouldn't just say "Bill Edmunds Productions" because what do you produce? A friend of mine has a company called "Contemporary Image" and I always ask him, "what does that mean, what do you do"?

"Bill Edmunds Video Productions" tells the story.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:28 AM   #13
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Re: How important is your business name?

I like the personal vibe that is given using your name. I want to communicate "craftsman," not "company." Of course, I have no intention of sending out multiple crews or anything like that -- I work alone.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 07:50 AM   #14
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Re: How important is your business name?

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Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
There is a story as to why we went with Mintyslippers but one of the reasons we went with it was its memorable. How many times do you walk away from a wedding and say to your other shooter "What was that photographers name again?". For some reason, us humans have trouble remembering names... well, most do. And given most photogs go by their real name it adds to the pain. Mintyslippers also stands out in search results.

I agree, a name like that is much more memorable...same with ours, although ours has sevaral points to it. Our videography biz is called "Forever Fossilized." Not only is it memorable for people, but it's a play on our last name as well (pronounced "fossil") , and the word fossilized suggests something forever. Just lucky it all works that way I guess :-) I have to thank the maid of honor at our own wedding for coming up with that line though -- may your love be "forever Fasel-ized."
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Old September 26th, 2011, 08:29 AM   #15
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Re: How important is your business name?

Since my name isn't spelled like it's pronounced, I thought it would be better to use something easier to spell, and pronounce for the name of my business. Plus, with a last name that's two separate words, computers have always had a tendency to lose it in their databases. Sometimes my info would come up filed under the letter V, sometimes under the letter D. Sometimes the poor clerk trying to find me in their computer just didn't have any luck at all.

My bank still sends me correspondence for one of my accounts "Dear Mr. Duyn..." even though the data has been corrected by them numerous times, and is correct in other accounts from that very same bank.

Plus, the name of my company is probably easier to remember than my name anyway. The words even rhyme, plus they have a positive connotation.

There are a lot of variables when it comes to a good name. And then there's the whole separate matter of keeping a good reputation for whatever name you come up with for your business.

And there's always the unexpected to deal with. Suppose the original poster happens to be a big (but still nice) guy, and decided to name his business "Big Bill's Video" Some people might unconsciously think "big bills" as in "too expensive for me..."

Plus, changing the name of your business might be inconvenient for your present client base. Weigh the various alternatives very carefully.

Personally, I think Excalibur sounds classy, connotes Royalty.
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