Thursday, August 5, 2010

Personal Branding: Does It Work to Use Your Name as Your Personal Brand?

Using your own name as your personal brand name can be tricky in luxury real estate marketing. It may work well to help you sustain a “top-of-mind” position among sellers, if you already have achieved celebrity status in your marketplace. But, buyers, particularly those from out of your marketplace, cannot differentiate one agent from another, especially if your website does not stand out as unique.

To grasp the significance of how using your name as your personal brand plays out in the minds of consumers here is an example in the realm of celebrity perfumes.

Last month Harrods department store in London was the “launching pad” for Jennifer Aniston’s new perfume. The brand name of the perfume is Jennifer Aniston. It was supposed to be called Lolavie which means “laugh at life”. Now, that would have been an excellent brand name because Ms. Aniston is most famous for her role in Friends, a situation comedy on television and also for her romantic comedies on screen. But, the name was changed at the last minute because another brand would have been too easily confused with her new product. Expediency won out and the perfume now has the celebrity’s own persona brand name.

So, here is the big question for the ladies: Would you buy a perfume with another woman’s name? Elizabeth Taylor has her own perfume line. But, the main brand names are White Diamonds and Passion. Gentlemen, would you buy Lebron James cologne? Certainly, if you identify with this celebrity, a better brand name would be King James. Imagine your wife or girlfriend asking you what scent you are wearing and you answer, “LeBron James”.

If you already have an established website with your name as your domain it may be wise to keep it because starting over with a different domain name may upset your current ranking with Google. Keep the domain but create a new brand name for your blog and play up the blog brand. However, if your current website does not rank well you are better off to begin anew with a new domain name and a brand that people can easily remember.

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