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4 Rules for Changing Your Name


The last few weeks have brought a spate of celebrity name changes. Here are 4 guidelines to consider as you contemplate a brand new you:

  1. Name for Longevity– Don’t change your name on a whim. Your name must work for your entire lifetime. Prince’s constant name changes, for example, belittled his brand. And, Snoop Dog, for some reason, is now, Snoop Lion. Watch for him to change his name to Snoop Tortoise when he turns 60.
  2. Try a One Name Brand – An unusual name like Beyoncé easily earns one name status, but Adele’s recent trademarking of her one name moniker opens up the possibility of being known by just your first name.
  3. Make it Logical – When Chad Johnson changed his name to Ocho Cinco, those of us who speak Spanish, cringed. Didn’t he mean ochenta cinco? Regardless, he’s now back to Chad.
  4. Step Out of Committing Genericide – If folks are having trouble finding you on Google because your name is Mary Smith or John Jones, consider a cooler, descriptive name like Tonga Mary, Antarctic Mike, or even The Supermarket Guru.

Have other ideas? Please share them with me in the comments area below.

  1. Dan Wolfson posts that if Snoop changed his name daily, it would be Snoop du Jour!

  2. Nisa Burns of raises the key question of when to change your name, especially if you’re looking at marriage. Although I left my 1st husband, but kept the name, it isn’t a minor thought. All name changes must weigh the brand equity of the current name against potential for better recall, differentiation or benefits with a new name. Of course, love, family, and tradition all play a more personal role.

    For many modern women, it is tough to walk away from the value of your own brand name. Let’s face it: If you can’t be easily found on Google, you don’t exist.

    What are your thoughts?

  3. Milo Shapiro writes: Or Milo Shapiro! Yet to find another one of those on the planet! The mixing of greek and Jewish seems to have warded off the duplicate issue!

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