Branding! – No Men Died in the Creation of this Company


Branding! My business needs a name.
What do you do when you’re branding, and your choices are lame?

Executive Summary

With apologies to the makers of the short lived series from the mid-1960s, I come to you with the story of how Live Long Lead Long branding came about.    While I am indeed old enough to have watched the show Branded, I never did.  I was too young to care about any program that didn’t have an animated talking animal.  However, the song is indelibly stuck in my mind not only for the catchiness of the tune but also for the immature scatological lyrics we chose to sing along to that tune.  But I digress.

The 4L Story

Back in October 2014 here is what I knew:

  1. I wanted to help people achieve the level of health and happiness that everyone deserves.
  2. People in high tech businesses had the means to be healthy and happy but they didn’t believe they had the time.  They were working their assess off for the eventual big payoff; trying to reach the station without ever enjoying the ride.  I am one of them, I know.
  3. I needed to get my bona fides in order to have credibility as someone who could help people in the way I wanted to.  I enrolled in Precision Nutrition and Duke IHCPT.
  4. In parallel I would build the infrastructure required to bootstrap the practice.  For reasons beyond the scope of this post, this practice needs to be a business.
  5. A business needs an identity.

Despite my preening, this is not a vanity project so I wasn’t going to name the business after me. I wanted a name that meant something.  I tried, I really did, but nothing I came up with stood out.

I didn’t want to wait any longer, I needed/wanted to get my web presence going because I see it as a critical part of building the practice.  I settled on Live Long Lead Long because:

  1. It’s simple,
  2. It’s alliterative,
  3. It connotes the idea of being an entity that will help people extend their lives as well as their ability to inspire others,
  4. It can be easily abbreviated (LLLL, 4L, L4),
  5. Once abbreviated I can claim it stands for almost anything (including the names of the dogs I’ve had in my life but that would mean taking on two additional dogs; something I’ll not commit to). This is the strategy we used at my startup.
  6. I get a mischievous pleasure at the notion of being able to call it LLLL LLC.

So Live Long Lead Long it is.  Not perfect but good enough.  At least it got me past the endless rumination on a name.  I can probably change it later if something better comes along.  If I can’t, it’s because it’s so wildly successful, changing the name will be detrimental.  Either scenario is fine.  I’m open to suggestions if you want to give me your better idea.

The Logo

I am not a graphic designer but I didn’t want to engage with one at this stage.  The first 20 years of my professional life was with a company that designed equipment for the graphic arts industry but I was purely on the techie side; not a creative.  Still that experience gave me significant exposure to all the standard tools in their earliest stages including PageMaker, Quark XPress, Ventura, PhotoShop, Corel Draw, Illustrator, etc.  So I figured I could take this on myself.

I wanted the logo to:

  1. Incorporate the practice name,
  2. Be vibrant and colorful, and
  3. Imply that health and happiness is a multidimensional prospect.

So I came up with these variations of the theme:

LogoChoices

I liked number 3 the best (I never could get 5 to look right) and added the Work-Life Balance Integration part later.  In retrospect, there are a couple things I would reconsider about it but I don’t want perfection to be the enemy of good-enough.  I am satisfied with what I have but am always open to ideas.

And that’s the story of the name and the logo.  Yes there is more to branding than that, and I’m sure I will drag you through the quagmire of my thought process at some late date.

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