By Hollie Rapello
It was a very personal and public branding ‘oops’!
After 15 years in the advertising business working with some of the most well known global brands, I goofed on the biggest branding assignment of my life: the naming of my son. Mind you I had plenty of time to do the necessary research, spending the last two months of my pregnancy on bed rest with nothing better to do than research names and read the Twilight series, which by the way was the most embarrassing purchase of my husband’s life “I’d rather have been sent in for a jumbo box of tampons than stand in line with those books!” (the notion of buying books at a bookstore now seems quaint, huh?)
Oh, the endless considerations: is it better to have a more search optimized name like “Ivan Wicksteed” (yes he does exist and is the newest CMO at Old Navy) or a more anonymous “Joe Smith” online existence? Is the name easy to spell? Does it have global transference (in the UK, John Thomas is slang for male genitalia for instance)? Is it too common—will he be one of five in his class? Does it pay homage to his family heritage?
And yes, I had consultants on the branding case as well. One of my closest friends was a researcher for IPSOS and felt my name choice was “classic.” Another friend surveyed from a different area of the country thought it was “timeless.”
However, once my son was born and wore his new name for a few months, my husband and I started to second-guess our name choice. It just wasn’t right for him!
Well, it turns out, we weren’t alone.