First Rule of Branding: Grab it!

Nov 19, 2010   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Professional Development, Social Networking  //  1 Comment

The MidnightDBAs (or is it just Jen?) have declared today as an Un-SQL Friday.  Nope, this isn’t a NoSQL Friday post, but a “not about SQL” Friday post.

Your mission: To write about branding. We have spoken to a LOT of people in the past two weeks about branding, often specifically about our brand, and the thoughts they are a-churnin.  Your blog should reflect however that word strikes you – whether it’s in personal/professional branding, software branding, our brand, product brands, or whatever.

We recently switched our branding back to “love your data” and away from “adding value to your information resources”.  We still think our former tagline is true, but Love Your Data is much more fun and still reinforces the need to take good care of your data.

So I was going to write about the value of brand, or how to protect your brand when I realized that the First Rule of Branding is to go reserve (grab) that brand, or the closest you can to it.  I’m @datachick on Twitter not because I think having a made-up Twitter ID is fun or cool, but because having a common name like “Lopez” means that every form of my name that I could come up with was already taken.  Not all of the combinations are being used, but they are already snatched up by people who may not ever use them. But because they were registered, they aren’t available to me.

I have a similar issue on Facebook.  My Facebook id is “lopezk” That’s closer to something real, but still not instantly recognizable, memorable or conversation friendly.

Now with LinkedIn I was an early adopter and I was also paying attention when the call for setting up your own personal link was announced and I managed to snag “karenlopez

Heck, even on the Xbox Live system I thought for sure I could get some form of my name or Datachick, but even all the easy to remember forms for Datachick were already taken. So there I’m “DatachickXbox”.  Just like I’m my own gaming device.

On our own discussion lists I was also able to set up an ID of “karenlopez“, but that’s because I was the first user on the system.

KarenAvatarLargeSo you can see what’s happened: I have several brands or IDs for myself scattered all over the Internet.  I can sometimes relate them to my brand by using the same avatar or the same logo or just to put them up together on one slide.  But I really wish that I could have my same brand everywhere.  By having a common name and joining late, I missed out on having a common brand for me personally.

In fact, on Twitter there are two other people who probably weren’t happy to find out that Datachick was already taken, so they came up with Datachix1 and Datachix2.  Now the brand is even further diluted and confusing.

So don’t wait to grab those brands where you can.  Even if you name is one of only two people with that name on the planet.  You never know when that other guy is going to grab “your” brand.

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