On the advice of a friend, Angela Naphin, whose recent podcast on personal branding, encouraged it, I Googled myself. Despite the popularity of my name, I was pleased to see that I was the 5th most popular image for Jennifer Davis and my blog ranked up there. Behind the runner-up Miss America. Behind a surgeon. Behind an artist. Behind an ambassador. I am in good company, it seems.
According to the US Census Bureau, and their very entertaining HowManyofMe.com website, there are 6,050 women named Jennifer Davis in the US alone. And there over a million women named Jennifer in the US. The name ipeaked in popularity around the time of my birth, which is why all of us Jennifers are about the same age (ie, think Jennifer Gardner, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Lopez, and all the Jennifers you know, are related to, and work with).
But back to my point, my name alone is not distinctive enough to be a brand. Lucky for me it isn’t hard to spell or pronounce. It is easy for people all over the world to say. But it is not unique. It isn’t some celebrity baby name that some might read as strange, but is memorable. My name sounds like someone you have met before and perhaps you have. When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I was told all the time that there was a ticket agent who works at the Portland airport and a high school administrator with the same name. My only hope was that they were outstanding citizens who didn’t end up with our name splashed in a negative newspaper masthead. I think we have generally avoided all of that and as a group we have worked for good.
In the final tally, I am not any of the following Jennifers, but we may share some characteristics.
- I am not Jennifer Davis the ambassador, although I am diplomatic and strategic
- I am not Jennifer Davis, the ballroom dance instructor, although I strive to mentor
- I am not Jennifer Davis, the artist, although I am creative
- I am not Jennifer Davis, the surgeon, although I do focus my expertise to help others
- I am not Jennifer Davis, the real estate agent, although I do live in Atlanta
- I am not Jennifer Davis, the beauty queen, although, I too, wish for world unity
And the 6,049 others who share my name...are not me.
You, too, should Google yourself. Think about what makes you unique among your name-sharing peers and what make you similar. And then be you!