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My new business cards arrived and, as I was going to a networking event, I popped a bunch in my pocket and headed out. It wasn’t until later that night when I was asked, “Do you know Zoe deLuca?” (while the person looked straight at my card I had just given them), that the value of a name really sunk in for me.

You see my new business cards have my ‘new name’ on them. When I say new name, I should probably explain…….

After 11 years together Mark and I finally got married last week. And along with the ceremony (and party) I also ‘got’ a new surname. So Zoe deLuca is morphing into Zoe Wyatt.

So what? I know lots of people get married each year and take on their Husband’s surname. But, when you have spent the last 8 years building a brand online based on your personal name (as I have) then this becomes a major “issue”.

If a person standing in front of me with my card, did not automatically make the connection that I was the same Zoe then how is my market, and potential clients, going to do this on the internet?

The reality is that I ‘could’ retain deLuca for my professional branding. In fact I still have, www.zoedeluca.com and my Twitter profile is still @zdeluca but do I really want to have to juggle two names going forward? One for personal use and one for professional? What a hassle.

What this has brought up to me is the importance of not just your ‘name’ but your ‘Branding’ in internet marketing (including social media marketing). So, what does your name or brand online say about you and your business right now?

Are ‘you’ your brand? Is your business based around your personal name and, if so, is this optimal for you? You may not be thinking about changing your name any time soon but what if you change your core product or service offerings?

My Social Media services did not even exist 5 years ago and they continue to ‘evolve’ (ie change) rapidly. Imagine if I’d branded as ‘MySpace Specialist’ three years ago, I’d need to re-brand anyway.

Even if your branding is not based on your personal name, the name you chose to brand on is vitally important in business generally, but in internet & social media marketing especially. When developing your online brand consider these aspects:

  • Does your brand name accurately reflect your business?
  • Does your brand instantly identify what you do/offer?
    If not, do you need to incorporate a tag line to do this?
  • Can you secure the .com web address for your brand name?
  • Is your brand name consistent across all social media sites?
  • Is your brand already in use in social media accounts and will this cause confusion for your clients?
  • Have you considered transition of your business? Will you want to sell in the future or pass to a family member?

With all of this to consider “branding” is a huge decision to make.  In fact, to answer my original question, “What’s in a name?” – obviously, in the world of internet marketing, a great deal.

My decision has been to establish three clear brands:

  • Social Media ShortCut – for my Social Media Marketing Training
  • MarkandZoe – for our virtual, multiple income stream business together.  With the tagline of
    “Make The World Your Office” to make it easier to understand what the business is all about, and
  • Zoe Wyatt – for personal social media use and interacting with family and friends.

I’d love to hear of your branding decisions and challenges.  Are you looking to re-brand or overhaul your brand?  Leave your comments here or over on our facebook page at:
http://www.facebook.com/markandzoe (you’ll notice it says Zoe deLuca at the top that I can’t change ;-) )

I’m off to start the great name change……