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Marriage: Is it a spanner in my personal brand management plan?


06 March 2012

I recently read an article about brides taking on, or not, their husband’s name. 

I’ve already gone through this once ... in reverse. 

I took my first husband’s name at the same time I was finding my groove and getting known through networking, writing articles and doing a smattering of presentations. My personal brand was evolving fast and finding its feet. When the divorce came through ... *bang!* ... hello maiden name! I didn’t make a song a dance about it, I just changed it back. But this had hilarious outcomes. I had many people call and write offering their congratulations and asking “When was the wedding?” ... “Well, the wedding was 3-years ago and I’m now divorced. Camm’s my maiden name.” ... “Ohhh ... oops. Sorry” ... “That’s ok, how were you to know?”

Exactly! How were they to know? I don’t normally put out media releases around these things. So, should I?

Without doing the market research and keeping my ego in check, I believe my personal brand is healthy and on track. I have created a niche for myself in my chosen field and I am known by those I want to know me. My personal brand is aligned with my career vision, my values and my personality. Nothing is compromised and success is measured by the number of articles and media mentions, public speaking invitations and consulting opportunities. I know people talk about me and thankfully, most of it is positive and professional [gossip is for the fearful and the small minded]. 

I am now married again and faced with the ominous: should I take on my married name and throw a spanner in my personal brand management plan, or keep things as they are?

My extensive list of pros and cons include the following ... 

The pros: 

1.    Evans is much easier to spell than Camm. 

The cons: 

1.    I am the last in a long line of Camm’s. I have no children and feel a tad obligated to hold onto the name and uphold the strong family traditions that go with it. 

2.    My target market might not recognise a name change and may think Julia Camm has died and gone to heaven. 

3.    Plus, the rigmarole to getting your name changed is bordering on insane and intensively time consuming. 

Seriously, what a bunch of lame excuses. Family traditions can, and do, live beyond names. I will summon the patience to stand in a queue to change my name. My key clients and contacts are not stupid; they know what’s going on. 

This is not a case of bra burning radical feminism. This is not about being my husband’s property. Changing my name is about my very deep, personal commitment towards marriage. Changing my name is, in a very post-modern feminist way, about personal brand management. 

If my husband is game enough to take on this highly amusing, erratic whirlwind as his wife, then the least I can do is share his name. 

This chance to change my name is a gift. It’s an amazing opportunity to refine my current offering, reconnect with my target market in new and invigorated ways and increase my reach to those yet engaged with the wonderful world of me. I am not losing myself. I have a fresh start to launch Julia version 3.0.

Ok, decision made. 

I vow to get over myself and get on with it. 

Julia Evans here we come. 



  • 8 years ago

    Alison and Rachael, thank you. To make things more interesting, my husband [the Pompous Goose] suggested that perhaps I shouldn't change my name, as we're looking at working together on a couple of significant projects. Jeeeze ...

  • Rachael McKenzie

    Rachael McKenzie 8 years ago

    Hi Julia,I got married later like Alison and had a long career as well but I too took my husband's name - do you know how many jokes and explaining how to spell \"Forgan\" ( no - not Foghorn - Morgan with an F ) I had over the years - McKenzie was a blessing to take on!!

  • Alison Clinch

    Alison Clinch 8 years ago

    Great article Julia. I got married later in life (35+) and already had an established career and professional network. For me though there was no question about taking my husband's name - it was definitely what I wanted to do. Yes, the forms and queues were a bit annoying but I didn't experience any downsides or inconveniences from a professional angle.