Pen Name

Published on Sep 9, 2020

I'm thinking of using a pseudonym for my personal brand.

Basile Samel isn't the easiest name to pronounce and spell. I'm always having a hard time when I casually bring up my website in a conversation, basilesamel.com. It's especially true when I'm in a foreign country talking with people I've never met before.

In an ideal world, a brand name is shorter than 10 characters, easy to remember, and easy to write. It has no ambiguous letters that are either silent or pronounced differently from one country to the next. Basile has a silent -e and a weird-sounding -s, for example.

Some influencers say that your brand's name doesn't matter and that people will learn to pronounce your name once you do something worth remembering, but I think it is asking too much. Would Pewdiepie be as successful as a Youtuber if he stuck to Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg? Can you spell Friedrich Nietzsche without looking it up? And what about Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, or George Orwell? In a world of short attention span, adapting your name to your audience remains relevant.

I find the idea of reinventing yourself by using a made-up name exhilarating. Creating a word to represent what you stand for feels almost holy, like altering reality itself: it is no casual thing to do, you need to approach the task with great care.

I have no idea where to begin, so I'll research some ideation techniques before proceeding.