A Womb with a View: Why Branding Begins at Birth & Why Parents Pick Bizarre Baby Names for Their Children

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A Womb with a View: Why Branding Begins at Birth & Why Parents Pick Bizarre Baby Names for Their Children

Like the name Dweezil? Or, how about Pilot Inspektor? Why on earth are celebrities and everyday parents naming their children so bizarrely? 

7 Reasons for Bizarre Baby Names: 

Here’s a rundown as to the who, why, and even the trends in baby naming.  

1.The Goal is to Become Unique – Unique names are the attempt to christen the brand called “you” from the get-go. It’s the parent’s goal to have you standing out before you can even walk. I’m guessing that’s the case with Beyoncé, Chastity (now Chaz) as well as with Blanket, Michael Jackson’s son. Note: this strategy does backfire as solid research shows that unusual names are forgotten faster.  
 
What’s with the bizarre-o #BabyNames? Parents want their kids to be the Brand YOU from birth Click To Tweet  
I applaud blogger Joy Pullman who boldly admits she made a mistake in naming her first child Ransom. She writes that even “My own parents misspell Ransom’s name!”  Joy also notes that a study of 3,000 British parents found that one-fifth regretted the names they’d given their kids, and parents who had chosen more unusual names were more dissatisfied.  

2. My Name Is My Brand – Parents are creating names for the “Google Generation” meaning that they want their kids easily “findable” so that their child’s name is the only one showing up in the search results. Kyd Miller, Apple, Blue Ivy, and Dweezil fit this model. If you want to dive deeper into naming and happiness, see Donna Feitas’ book, The Happiness Effect. 

#BabyNaming today = you are the only one on #Google. Click To Tweet

3. Leaving a Legacy – Creating a new name fills parents with pride. Research demonstrates that inventing a new name, allow them to leave a legacy in the form of the child. Basketball player Dewanna Bonner, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Moon Unit fit the bill. 

4. Place Names Show The Exotic – Here we have Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Brooklyn Decker, Dakota Fanning, and Alicia Keyes who chose Egypt for her son.  
 
#Naming your kid after a place is exotic: Paris, Egypt, Brooklyn, etc. Click To Tweet

5. Names are Their DestinyForest Whitaker believes he literally grew into his name and wants his children Ocean and True to do the same.  I’m thinking that philosophy is what prompted The Donald to name his youngest Barron, for Kim Kardashian to pick the Saint, and even the rationale behind the moniker of football player Yourhighness Morgan. 
 
To #name your baby is to create his destiny. Click To Tweet 

6. Eschewing Tradition – It’s as if the joke is on us when celebrities pick “boy” names to girls as when Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively name their daughter James. Or, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis who pick Wyatt, and Kristen Bell who picks Lincoln.  

7. Unusual Spellings Demonstrate the Cool Quotient – Isn’t it cool that you picked a way to change the spelling of Amy to Aimee? Perhaps. But, there are serious ramifications with this move:  
 
#Name your kid w/ a weird spelling and life gets complicated… Click To Tweet

  • Reading Issues – New research suggests that kids with unusually spelled names have a higher incidence of reading and spelling issues.  
     
  • Annoyance Factor – Let’s not forget the irritation factor: “Did your parents not know how to spell Amy? Or, “spelling your name LeeYam doesn’t make you special, just stupid!”  
     
  • Always Spelling – Oddly spelled names demand that you constantly spell…and correct people. Ugh!  
     
  • Email Issues – Easy e-mail makes it easy for everyone; harder names makes it more difficult for mail to reach its destination.  

SO, here’s the rub:  I revere unusual names; I applaud branding out and standing out. In fact, I’m lucky because “Goodgold” is a tremendously unique name. (FULL Disclosure: I married the name; left the man, but kept the great brand name!) 

But, there are negatives and positives to an easy name – It’s great when everyone knows your name (“I like Ike” or “Be Like Mike”), but you’re hard to find on LinkedIn.  

What’s your experience? What did you name your baby? Please share over at my blog.  

6 Comments
  1. My name is Al Smith. I’m doing my part for the environment. My name’s been recycled.
    With a common name, I had to be creative in coming up with a unique email address. Finally, I settled on n2501znsd. It’s actually a condensed phrase.

    • Hi Al. OK, you’ve piqued my interest. What does this (n2501znsd) stand for?

  2. Because of the ramifications you mentioned, I am against the extremely unusual names – your highness. I am also against very unusual spelling of same names Dyan (Diane). There is a balance between being unique and so unique that you may be viewed as “foreign” and “unfamiliar.” Psychologically, people don’t know how to file you, when you first meet, therefore you are lost. Of course this is based on my personal experience as an Asian immigrant whose name is not from indo-European languages. 🙂

    PS: Wish I had a dollar for each time I had to spell my name or correct my name. 🙂

  3. Yes, Sunjin, I bet you’ve spent a ton of time on spelling your name. Yet, your name is a special case in that you have a foreign name in the US where us Americans struggle with foreign words.

    Question: do you go by Sun sometimes? I’ve often found that people with unfamiliar names choose a nickname just to make their lives…and their colleagues lives easier.

  4. My name was always misspelled when I was a kid and I could never find my spelling on any keychain or pre-printed item. So when I was naming my kids, I picked Alexander and Ashley, the most common spelling, top of the alphabet. Found on any keychain in USA!

  5. Is there a reason why your parents spelled your name Rachael? I’m such a believer in easy names in the digital age that I named by kid Adam!

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