Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's in a name?

Camilla's Store is the name of this blog. Camilla Grey is my name. The former sounds like a Texan junk shop. The latter sounds like a Pantone chip. Both sound made up. When I started Camilla's Store, the need for social media usernames was minimal. Plus, I was young, naive and, like many at that time, half believed this whole 'Internet' thing would never really take off.

Fast forward five years, dozens of online profiles, hundreds of blog posts and thousands of tweets later and I have a problem. A geeky white girl problem, but a problem none the less. I have become the victim of my own good branding. Real people think my real name is Camilla Store.

At first I laughed it off, but then I put on my serious Brand Strategist hat and asked myself what I would advise a client in a similar situation. And my response would be to change the name that no one knows. As the guys at Wolff Olins say, "Your brand is whatever Google says it is". Combine that with what I say, which is "Your brand is whatever people on social media say it is" and you've got the answer. I'm going to have to change my real name via deed poll.

Who cares about the legacy, heritage and family ties that lie behind Grey? So what if, as an only child, it falls to me to continue the legacy of Grey's into the next generation? The people of Instagram and Twitter want fresh links and hot #matchymatchy's, not some sob story about my Ukranian ancestors slumming it in East London before it got cool. And, as a Strategist, I firmly believe in giving the brawling masses what they want.   

If you insist on living by the sword, you have to be ready to die by the sword. And anyway, if I had to choose between Google and the Passport Office, I'd go for the one least likely to invent Google+ every time.