What's in a name?

This wasn't the post I'd planned on writing this afternoon, but last night something funny happened. For the first time EVER, someone recognised me from my blog. I was having drinks in Alvinos with Sarah and a couple of girls came over to ask if I was 'that blogger'. It turned out that she had been sat on a table next to me in Garden Kitchen back in May when I reviewed it. While taking photos of the food, I'd snapped the girls tucking into their picnic after explaining about the review. We'd chatted a little and as we'd left, Cata had given one of them the link for my blog so when the review went live they'd had a read. It was lovely to hear such nice comments from total strangers but it was a bizarre moment. Sometimes it's easy to forget sometimes that other people can see/read the things I put on the internet.

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As a fashion and lifestyle blogger, I share a lot about my life and the people in it. My friends are a big part of my life so inevitably they crop up on here pretty often. Luckily for me, they don't seem to mind too much... but I think the occasional blogger perk (like coming along to food reviews) keeps them sweet! However, since more of my friends have known about my blogging, I've found the more personal my writing can get. A couple of years ago Andy Torres spoke about the 'ego blogger' in her Ted Talk in Amsterdam (if you haven't seen it, watch/listen to it here). It's an interesting concept and one which is very relevant in our age of over-sharing. But it's something which I was reminded of a couple of weeks ago when speaking to my boss about blogging. He asked me why the domain wasn't just my name and why my blog was called Raspberry Kitsch. And to be honest the answer is, I have no idea.

When I started out blogging, I had loads of ideas about what to write about and no real clue what to call my blog - and obviously to be able to start, I needed a name. Whenever people hear about my blog, one of the first things they ask is the reason behind calling it Raspberry Kitsch and what does it mean? Over the years, I've made a game of trying to make up interesting reasons.. but I don't really have any. Or if I did, they're long forgotten now. And as I've gotten older, I've started to wonder if I've outgrown the name a little.

For a little while now, one of the guys at work has been telling me he'll redesign Raspberry Kitsch for me. I want to change the layout slightly but while I'm on, I'm thinking maybe it's time for a new name? I'm torn though. Do I change it just to my own name? Change it to something more gender neutral? Or just stick with what I have?! Working in a branding agency, I've learned a lot over the last year about the importance of good branding, and how much of an impact getting the brand identity right, can have on a company. The way the blogosphere has expanded in the last few years, blogs are now becoming brands in their own right. I've always championed the idea that content is king, so the name never bothered me that much. What's in a name, anyway? But really blog names are important because they're one of the first impressions people will have of your site - sometimes before they've even logged on to look at it. And the best names are always the most memorable. So is it time for Raspberry Kitsch to have a rebrand? I asked the lovely ladies last night what they thought, and the market research from them suggested I stick with the name. One told me she thought it was cute, and that it reminded her of a cross between Cath Kidston and Strawberry Shortcake, which I'm going to take as a compliment! What do you lot think? Have you changed the name of your blog since you started out?

8 comments

  1. I changed my blog name very early on because I was too embarrassed to tell others what it was called and I wanted it to be shorter. I really like your blog name though, it's short and memorable :). xx

    Almost Delightful

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  2. I'm on my third blog name! They've all included my name, though. I want it to reflect the content of the blog, but I have no clear focus of what I want the blog to be about.

    Mabel
    Life of Mabel

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  3. I think it's really interesting to think of your blog's 'branding' and it makes sense that you would do that given your line of work! The thing I worry about with my blog is that it has so much different content that it doesn't have a 'theme' or any sense of concurrence or consistency. From a 'name' perspective though I agree with you that content is king and the name is a lesser issue in terms of the success of a blog. I remember a blog and its name if I keep coming back to it regularly and the only reason I'd do that is consistently good posts! So I think what I'm saying is it doesn't matter what it's called, what makes it memorable is that it's consistently something I want to read. Does that make sense? I like the name anyway! :) xo

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

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  4. It's a toughy isn't it!! I've had similar issues with this... I find myself obsessing over it! It's so hard to think of a name that really encapsulates everything that you want to say with a brand. Having said that though, I really like Raspberry Kitsch! It's sweet and ambiguous enough that you're not pigeon holing yourself. You might even find that a redesign helps that feeling of growing out of it slightly... When all is said and done though, if it's bugging you a lot just go for it and change it! It's not like you'd lose any readers over it because as you say it's the content that really matters :) xxx

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  5. I've literally just changed mine (as in, like, a few hours ago!) For me it was because the name felt really long and also because I think there has to be a certain whimsical quality to anything with Wonderland included in the name, and whilst there are days I want to waltz around in fields with flowers in my hair I don't feel that overall I'm a hugely whimsical person and I started feeling like I couldn't share any outfit that I loved that was really tailored or make sarcastic comments on my blog because it didn't fit with the name So essentially that was why it was changed, as I felt like the name was inhibiting what I was writing about, which was slightly daft given I write a personal lifestyle blog. I really love Raspberry Kitsch as a name, I think its ambiguous enough to write about what you want and whimsy without being too whimsy - and it's also short, which was a huge factor for me as I was so sick of reeling off 'Lost My Heart In Wonderland' all the time. Ultimately though it's up to you, I think as long as you feel you can write whatever you like on your blog and that your content won't be affected by the name then you don't need to change it at all. And I love the cross between Cath Kidson and a strawberry shortcake description!

    PS Sorry for the actual essay I've left here!

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  6. I did branding coaching for women this year and totally get where you're coming from, but I definitely think that sometimes we overthink blogs as a brand as it pertains to the ones who have skyrocketed to fame. When you think about the top bloggers, none have changed their name, only their domain url. I have tried to change my blog name 3 times as well but in the end, I lost tons of subscribers and it never really mattered in the first place. Why? Because its an abstract name, just like yours, and it leaves infinite chance for content revival. So I say go with the redesign which is the most important and feel it out afterwards. But don't make the decision thinking it will greatly affect your readers :)

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  7. I have to say, I'm with Letitia on this one - whatever misguided reasons we have for calling our names what we do when we start out (and I think that most blog names, like yours, are borne of simply not knowing what to call a blog!), that is the way that your blog comes to be known. Changing the name is ultimately up to you, but every time I've seen anyone do it, it's only resulted in confusion and loss of subscribers. Plus, I love Raspberry Kitsch - it's cute and fun and, well, you!
    xox,
    Cee

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  8. I work in marketing too and have thought about 'branding' too. But I came to my euphamisn a few months back as I realised that a business and a blog do not require the same branding, and way back in the day I just overthought it far too much. You'll know, but branding is a company by company thing - I currently work in a business that sells to other businesses, where branding is a lot less about logos and more about relationships. I think blogs can be overbranded and from my 'market research' (which is me reading blogs) a blog is meant to be natural looking and sounding, not something that requires a written marketing plan and a professional web designer (unless you're blogging to support a business).

    I have marketing buddies who don't blog who say I should do this and that, and clearly they don't get blogging. And I've known marketers who start a blog thinking they know it all and then realise it isn't the same as branding a business (I was one of them). Think about the PR's who approach us as if we're journalists?

    And think about milkteef, temporary secretary and elevatormusik which are all very well-read blogs.

    I think you should leave raspberry kitsch as it is :)

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