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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Your Name is Your Brand – Protect it at all costs!

"Collecting Sea Shells" 8x10 acrylic on panel

What’s in a Name? Ask a person who has had his identity stolen, and he’ll say everything! Ask a person who has just had her name dragged through the mud in error, and she’ll tell you how hard it was to regain her reputation.

A small business or corporation will tell you that name recognition is everything! They spend billions of dollars on advertising and marketing techniques to find the right brand for their market. Then they defend that brand name even if they have to go to court.

Men have their names for a lifetime. Women change their names, sometimes several times, before the end of their lives. But times are changing.

"Military Regatta"
I vowed I would never go through that hassle again, but yesterday I found myself sitting across a desk in the Social Security office to do just that. I did not change my name when I married my husband, and vowed I never would. People know me as his wife and they use his name, but legally, my name was my own.

We all have our reasons. As I told my husband yesterday, once you start a name change, you start an avalanche that keeps on going. Your name affects your will, your inheritance or that of your children. Your name is on census records, voting records, bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, medical records. Your name is your identity. When you change it, the world becomes topsy turvy, at least for awhile.

"Regatta" 18x24 acrylic on canvas (work-in-progress)
An artist’s name is his brand. Although, I have an artist friend who signs her paintings “Hope,” even though that isn’t her real name; that will become her brand, for better or worse. 

Name recognition is paramount in selling a product or yourself. Your name is linked to your reputation. They are inseparable. This combination becomes your character and affects your references and your repeat business. What’s in a name? Everything! Protect it at all costs.