If you are serious about your talent, then one of the most important things is to realise that you are more than just a skilled individual or performer, you are a brand. Name’s are integral to any brand and a good stage name is no different. Imagine Nike had kept their original name Blue Ribbon Sports. Would they have enjoyed the success they have? Arguably not. There are a lot of high quality products out there that do not attain the success they deserve simply because they can not be communicated effectively on a consumer level. Imagine telling all your friends who had not heard of either, about Blue Ribbon Sports and how they’d respond verses telling them about Nike. Here are some tips to ensure you come up with a stage name that shines like the star you are.
As people we inherently make associations when we come across something new. For example an Italian name in the fashion industry might have automatic associations with luxury, as with perhaps a French name in the fragrance industry. It is important to have a name that communicates what you are about both phonetically (ie does it “roll off the tongue” does it sound “sexy” etc) and semantically (what does the name mean).
The keys to a great stage name is meaning, authenticity and uniqueness. Perhaps the best way to attain authenticity is to use your real name. However your real name may not always convey the meaning you want or be unique enough so often amendments in spelling, form or adding a second name will be necessary.
Your name is for first impressions in the wild (online, word of mouth etc), what your image is for first impressions in person. As such it is important to find yourself a good stage name that uniquely represents your talent.
When picking a stage name as an artist or band there are many things to consider. Things such as “how does this name reflect what I’m about,” or “how will my target market perceive the name” are just a couple. However, perhaps one of the most overlooked considerations is how your name will rank in search engines.
Businesses aim to rank for key words in very competitive environments. For example a hosting company will compete with thousands of others in a search for web hosting. However, as an individual your priorities are different. David Beckham doesn’t need to rank for a search for ‘football’ whereas a sports magazine might. The key thing as talent is to rank for a search for your real name or stage name.
Take an artist such as Res (pronounces reese from Shareese), once signed to MCA Records. As you can imagine a google search of Res will get you all sorts of results. The problem being if you’re a new fan and you want to find out more about the artist it suddenly becomes difficult. Her full name is Shareese Renée Ballard. Perhaps a name such as Res Renée would have contributed to her page ranking significantly more.
Although unestablished, an upcoming artist we named, Leo Levox, owns a search for his name and that’s where you want to be from an early a stage as possible as an artist. Unique stage names mean you will always be found and remembered.