September 20, 2011


HELLO my name is ...A household name has marketing power if it's unique and memorable but familiar. A last name might be enough.

In many cases, we’ll likely guess the same person even though others have the same name. Recognition depends on your age and upbringing. I'd have trouble with celebrities in sports and opera. For instance, I first heard of Lamar Odom this month but you may have followed him on Twitter for years.

Let's leave out the concocted names like Bono, Prince and Sting. Those might work for entertainers but deter your business prospects. The following names came from brainstorming.

Last Names

Bogart, Pitt, Daltrey, Bond, Hilfiger, Schiffer, Stallone, Lennon, McQueen, Branson, Harper, Jolie, Gretzky, Willis, Mulroney, Hemingway, Springsteen, Mellencamp, Hitchcock, Dylan, Einstein, Warhol, Timberlake, Feynman, Oppenheimer, Newton, Jobs, Secord, Houdini, Thatcher, Garfunkel, Nicholson, Zappa, Churchill, Wayne, Hope, Redenbacher, Barnum, Rowling, Streep.

First Names

Angelina, Orson, Eddie, Britney, Ringo, Grace, Quentin, Marilyn, Lenny, Elvis, Halle, Orville, Ezra, Rudyard, Julius, Augustus.

I had trouble coming up with more. Maybe that's because the media tends to report last names. “Bob” is much more common than “Newhart”. Since first names get used more often, why isn’t there more diversity in them? We inherit our last names but our parents choose our first or “given” name. An opportunity to stand out gets lost to the pressure to conform.

Today, an unusual name helps you stand out, though weird spellings get annoying. Like Anthonee for Anthony.


Maybe some of the above names were changed from the common ones like “John”.  Some people may only be known locally ... for now. Many of the examples have international recognition. You probably don't need that level of fame.

Your Name

Who knows your name? What connotations are invoked? If you're invisible, you're at a disadvantage.  What does a Google search show? If you're not satisfied with the results, you can start building or augmenting your digital tapestry for free today.

When you search for your business’ name, do your competitors show up first? Could a prospect pick them by mistake? That’s not outlandish. Try remembering the name of movers or financial advisors (especially when they have abbreviated their company names).

Visibility breeds familiarity and familiarity breeds business. There’s a lot in a name.


PS Consider more distinct names for your future children and pets. A domain name makes an unexpected gift!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a Bob but sometimes use Robert to look more professional. That causes confusion. It's better to use one name consistently