Fellow expat, Nichole Parker, is a tax attorney who specializes in expatriate tax and social security issues between the US and Italy. She sent me a great article about how parents are embracing the idea of personal branding for their children - even before they are born!
The Wall Street Journal article, The Baby Name Business, discusses how parents are hiring baby-name consultants to help them choose names for their children. "Growing brand consciousness has made parents more aware of how names can shape perceptions". Parents are googling possible names to assess how suitable they might be. They are consulting a growing number of websites such as Babynamesworld.com to learn about cultural associations, linguistic origins or how many times a name showed up in a wedding annoucement of an Ivy League graduate in a google search.
Choosing the right name has become extremely agonizing for some parents - and apparently is becoming big business. Consultants are charging upwards of 500 US dollars for their services.
It is impressive the kind of analysis that has been done with names. "The C-K sound is very popular in corporate circles" reports one consultant. "The hard stop forces you to accentuate the syllable in a way that draws attention to it".
An advertising executive who authored a book on baby names indicated that "people who understand branding know that when you pick the right name, you're givng your child a head start." Other parents interviewed for the article said they wanted a cool name - but not too trendy - that would help their child stand out and hence have a better chances in the job market when they grew up.
One parent who was disappointed because her first choice of names was snatched up by a British porn star, recently adopted a child and named him Jackson Thomas. Although the name passed the "google test", she said she was still concerned "what other Jackson Thomases are going to be doing for the next 15 to 20 years and what they are going to put on their MySpace pages".
Your Expat Success Tip: Google yourself. Does your name pass the Google test? If not, take one step right now to get on-brand information about yourself online.