Hi, I’m Sarah.
That’s a pretty generic name, you know. With a name like Sarah, I could be anyone. I could be a crotchety, arthritic wench or a flighty UT sorority gal. A Sarah could be Jewish or asthmatic or Australian or an awkward depressive who writes erotic poetry and recites it to horrified captive audiences on public buses.
Having a common name (#brand, #handle, #brandle) at once allows one to feel connected to all of history, to giants of literature and philosophy, to people and characters with that same name, and to humanity as a whole. On the other hand, a generic name can often insinuate that one’s personality is as generic, vague, vanilla, and/or nondescript as one’s plain (Jane) name.
When one has a common name, one can be common with it, allowing an arbitrary noise uttered years ago by one’s mother to determine one’s breadth of personality and character. Alternatively one can develop a personality accompanied by impressive talents, well-honed skills, and bold ambitions that make one quite unique in spite of having a common name. In fact, a common name can be impetus for uncommon personality and ambition to emerge.
Let’s take another common name for example, say John. Think of all the Johns you know or know of. There are and have been some pretty spectacular Johns throughout the annals of time. Some positive, artistic, interesting contributions to society: John Lennon, John Addams, John Quincy Addams, John Oliver, John Malkovich, John Singleton, John Glenn, John Greenleaf Whittier, John Lewis, and John “Cougar” Mellencamp.
But while we’re listing Johns, we must remember John Wayne Gacy, John Wilkes Booth, and John Hinckley, Jr. Regardless of all being called “John,” these fellows had unique identities, individually created and cultivated #brandimages with infinite associative possibilities. Some of them had traits in common. But being called John does not automatically ensure that one will become a rockstar, a Hollywood celeb, the #POTUS, a Quaker poet, or an infamous serial killer. Although any of those things could be true.
Names are naught but symbols for traits and attributes that one develops and cultivates over time. John to you may be quite different than John to me. My being Sarah is not the same as your cousin Sarah’s being Sarah. That is to say, one’s #brandname is less important than one’s #brandimage, but one’s #brandrep may vary based on #perception, #awareness, #informationstream, #worldview, and #otherpreexistingconditions.
Just like with our given names, one can’t always choose one’s #brandle (especially if one is employed by a corporate entity [#TheMan]), but one can manipulate one’s #brandle’s associations, enhancing one’s own and one’s own company’s #brandawareness and #mediaexposure (read: PR). The key is cultivation. Being extraordinary takes effort.
When you create meaning for yourself and for your #brandle, you create value and interest outside of your personal or professional marketing strategy, garnering invested interaction, and engaging your #TargetAudience to not only trust you(r brand), but also to be enamored of you, to want to know what you’re up to, and interact with you on a meaningful level. Generating #brandawareness and #brandimage is achievable, no matter what’s in your (company’s) name.
So, as I was saying: I’m Sarah.
What’s your name?