Brooks decided against self-naming his business for a number of reasons. “Most importantly, I thought the name needed to reflect the mission of the company and I thought about my exit strategy—I wanted a name that would develop brand value and equity, so in the end I wasn’t just selling used furniture.”
The first Diva Studio was located in a small space with old world décor that was almost Grecian in nature. “We started kicking around the name Godiva, because in mythology, she was a princess of beauty and because as a brand it goes straight to the top of the chocolate scale,” explains Brooks. “We shortened it to Diva, but incorporated the image of Lady Godiva into our logo. Since then the word ‘diva’ has exploded and has become a state of mind or a lifestyle. Now our clients come to us to find their inner divas.”
Naming your brand for yourself can help you build authority and a strong identity within your community, says Gadberry, but she also cautions that it can alienate your team and limit your future options.
“You do have to think about your exit strategy. Is someone else going to buy a business that carries your name? And should you decide to develop your own product line, naming it after yourself may limit your ability to sell it into other salons if that’s your goal.”
According to Heath, Eveline Charles’ decision to use her name came about in part because of trademark issues. Before launching her namesake salon, Charles was a partner in a salon business named Bianconero. “Eveline and her partner were parting ways so she needed a new brand, but she also had discovered that there were some limitations using the Bianconero name if she wanted to grow her business into the states. But if you name your brand for yourself, you can use the name even if it conflicts with other brands,” explains Heath. “Besides, she has a beautiful name that worked with our mission.”
Are you authentic?
Be cautious of overselling or overpromising the benefits of your services and products. “There’s been a certain degree of consumer cynicism brought on by brands that don’t deliver on their promises,” says Gadberry. “People make decisions to buy products based on brands that make them feel safe and secure, but consumers will shy away from anything that isn’t authentic. That can spell disaster for a salon or spa.”
Make sure that your services deliver on the promises of your menu. “For example, a destination spa may promote a sweatlodge service. The consumer may envision steaming in an authentic sweatlodge, only to discover that she’s simply tented for the service,” continues Gadberry.