Friday, 31 May 2013

Don't call me James

When I was about five years old there was a very well meaning woman who used to live around the corner from our house.  She used to call me "Jamie".  I hated it.  Let's be clear, I have never hated the name Jamie, but I really loathe someone calling me the wrong name.  

For nearly 15 years I've been called Lloydie by just about everyone I know.  It's a nickname that stuck.  Some people might call it a "personal brand" but I'm not that much of a tosspot.

My name is, however, part of my identity and it's important to me.  Whilst I understand there are some very formal situations where I may still have to be a "James", court appearances aside, there aren't many of them.

Having your name on your property is becoming a bigger part of our branding-savvy society.  Marketing people have picked up on the fact that, used well, our name is a powerful thing.  Starbucks will write it on your drinks cup.  Coke are now producing bottles with names on them (although where the **** is the Lloydie one, eh Coke?). You can even have your own branded wine.

It's a bit like when you were at school and you had your name sewn into every item of clothing by your mum.  As an adult you are only likely to have a name on your clothes in the form of a name badge in retail, or on your underwear.  That said, unless your name is Calvin Klein or Jack Wills it's unlikely that your underwear will be returned to you by lost property.

I'm looking forward to the day when products are so personalised that I can buy a sandwich where the cucumber filling spells out my name, from a service station where the motorway lights spell out "Hey Lloydie, come and take a break here".  Until then, I'll settle for a bottle of Coke that says "Lloydie" on it please.