Justin Harvey

What’s in a name?


Since 2004 I’ve run a small branding & digital marketing agency called Abrasive Ink (we started in 2001 as Selah Studios). Unfortunately the name and even the whole notion of owning/running the company began souring on me in 2010. I grew to dislike it so badly that I finally closed it down in 2011 (except for a few clients who we maintained on the side). I spent a few years as a creative director/manager for a Fortune 500 media company just to do something different. But in 2014 I relaunched Abrasive Ink so I could regain flexible hours (to help run a non-profit org), but I never really found my footing in that relaunch. It just didn’t feel right when I would network or pitch to new clients.

Your website needs a hero!Last week (after months of planning) I finally retired that old name with the launch of Hero Agency​. My entire outlook has changed too. I feel a connection to this brand identity. I feel proud to talk about it and am eager to share it… I even went door to door in my neighborhood, introducing myself and the company to local businesses. The services are exactly the same. The internal process haven’t changed. By all accounts it’s the same business… but the name change has made a huge difference to me personally… AND apparently to potential clients as I’ve added 4 since launch.

I see a lesson in here somewhere. Sometimes our past holds us back. Sometimes the names we’ve put on ourselves (or others have put on us) are like chains that anchor us to an identity that’s no longer ours. Like the stories of iconic religious figures or comicbook superheroes, sometimes we simply have to embrace our now-identity to begin our future journey.

From there it’s up, up and away…

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