Branding and email addresses

emailboxFor everyone from big businesses to small Mom-and-Pop operations, from international pop stars to aspiring authors, brand recognition is key to success.

Whether you’re marketing your company or yourself as an individual writer, coach, speaker, consultant or contractor, creating a recognizable, consistent brand is essential.

Twenty-first century consumers are looking for brand that they can:

  1. Recognize
  2. Trust
  3. Relate to

To promote brand recognition and communication with current and future customers, many people are now buying their own domain names (website addresses). Picking a name is not an easy task though and they are having to think very carefully about the name they choose to ensure that name ties in with their brand identity.

If your company is called 123 Widgets then, naturally, you want to buy but picking the name becomes a little trickier if either your preferred name is not available or you’re an individual. For instance, if you’re an author, do you purchase your own name e.g. ‘’ or do you buy the name of your book e.g. ‘’?

The simple answer is that is completely depends on your situation but you must always take into consideration the future. Building a brand based around a product is okay in the short term, but what happens when you want to branch out into new products? Will the brand identity you have created carry over into those new products or will you have to start again?

Whatever domain name you choose to further enhance your brand awareness and recognition, it is essential that you then commit to that name. In this day and age, your domain name becomes part and parcel of your brand image. If you are not 100% committed to your domain name then you are telling your customers that you are not totally committed to your brand – and neither will they be.

One major part of being committed to your brand image which most companies do well with but individuals marketing themselves miss is displaying their brand in their email address.

Let’s take, for example a fictional character named Will Wilbertson.

Will is marketing himself as a consultant and so he buys the domain name and creates a flashy website giving all of his experience and credentials, most of which are at least partly true. Will uses his name as often as possible to try to embed that name in his reader’s consciousness and to make it so that anyone searching online for ‘Will Wilbertson’ will be directed straight to his website.

Everything about Will’s marketing says that will is an expert, can be trusted and is probably well known and it’s a surprise you haven’t heard of him. When visiting his site you get sucked into a world that says Will Wilbertson, Will Wilbertson, WILL WILBERTSON!!!

Completely hooked by his very persuasive sales pitch, you look for his email address on his site so you can ask him how you can hire him at whatever extortionate rate he’s charging. As expected there’s a ‘Contact Will Wilbertson’ page and on that page he proudly displays his email address:

What? Wait… You mean Will Wilbertson doesn’t even buy into the hype enough to have his own name in his email address? Who’s Mommy’sLittleYankeesFan247? and why is he not using an email address Does he have so little faith in the Will Wilbertson brand that he uses an email address that he can keep even when his brand has evaporated?

If you are trying to convince people to trust you and the brand image you are portraying then you need to show them that you believe in that brand. People want some kind of promise of longevity and not having an email address at your own domain name suggests you don’t think that domain name (and thus your brand) will be around for long.

If you own a domain name, then you can almost certainly get fully functioning email addresses at that domain for free. Contact your domain name or web hosting provider to find out how!

Don’t damage your brand image by not showing full commitment to it. Whether you’re an unpublished writer or the CEO of a multinational conglomerate, show your commitment to your brand through your email address – today!