Personality drives everything these days. Think of the best bloggers, influencers – they’re successful because they have a brand, an identity. Can you imagine Zoella being called Sally? No, her name is synonymous with her YouTube channel and blog.
And, if you’re a blogger reading this – or just if you were born post-1990 – you’ll be familiar with the world of selfies and lusting after Em Sheldon’s monogrammed sliders after spying them on Instagram.
At the core of all of this self-centredness (yes, it’s a word!), is our names.
Okay, on paper, it’s just a bunch of letters. But those letters define who we are, they are what we respond to, they get shortened by friends and family as a term of endearment – they are your letters,.
A site called YourDesign sent over some personalised goodies after reading my blog. They knew I loved ponies so sent a sweatshirt and a silver stirrup keyring, with my name engraved on it. Their whole site is based on names, making products personal – and it got me thinking…
We have an emotional attachment to our names which companies are tapping into. That’s why brands like Coca Cola and Nutella ran campaigns, printing off bespoke labels with names on – to appeal to our vanity. Apparently, it works: according to this article, sticking a name on a Coke bottle made profits soar.
So we literally buy into our names. And, in a digital and global era, we’ve been conditioned to expect and desire highly personalised experiences – whether it’s a customised spa trip, or a Love Island water bottle (with our names on, of course).
People might say that the millennial Me Me Me generation is the root of all of this: we are entitled and expect tailor-made services, accessible and immediate.
But owning your own name, owning who you are, is nothing new. And surely that’s not a bad thing? Having your name/initials on full display is actually a celebration of your unique identity.
Think about it. If your name is pronounced wrong, spelt wrong (mine: forever with an ‘H’) or (the worst) you’re called a different name entirely – you’re going to get a little irked.
Similarly, when you’re teased as a child for your name, it can hurt. Sure, it can be funny – I’ll let you imagine the puns with my surname – but, at the end of the day, your parents lovingly named you and (for the most part) you should value that choice.
In case you hadn’t gathered, Criddle is my nom de plume and friends, teachers and my bosses also use it to speak to me. I love it.
Also, because there are no men in my generation, I am determined to keep the Criddle name alive. (Take note, future Mr. Criddle!)
So, I will happily have my Cristina/Criddle/CC emblazoned on whatever I can find because I’m proud of my name, I’m proud of who I am and, yes, I’ve got a little bit of love for myself.