There are many reasons why you may want to brand your name before any other user has a chance to do so. If it is your legal birth name, you never want to put yourself in a position to have to buy the rights to your own name, or worse, ask permission to use this name in any formal public arena. On some levels, the idea of this may seem a bit absurd. There are many people born with the same name. However, if you are building a product line that is gaining wide recognition or your own celebrity star begins to rise, you want to be the one with your name whom everybody knows.
A classic case occurred with celebrity entertainers actor Vanessa A. Williams and Vanessa L. Williams, former Miss America. Vanessa A. Williams legally trademarked the name Vanessa Williams, forcing Vanessa L. Williams to have to use her middle initial. The Screen Actors Guild later took the issue to arbitration and decided that both women could professionally be listed as Vanessa Williams. It was a bit confusing since they both starred in versions of the movie & television series “Soul Food.” Because Vanessa L. Williams seems to be more widely known, most people attribute the name Vanessa Williams to her. This has forced the other holder of the name to user her middle initial to distinguish herself.
This kind of prolonged confusion is something that others can avoid if they use proper branding techniques. It helps to establish yourself as the lead expert or professional in your field. If necessary, seek a trademark. Without these things, your reputation may be at stake.