my personal rebrand

my personal (re)brand

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“A brand is who you are… The part people remember… A brand is your identity. It’s what makes you, you. But it’s not just your personality. It’s who you consciously choose to be. It’s an intentional identity you don for the sake of your art.”
-Jeff Goins in You Are a Writer

I wasn’t thinking about branding when I first got online as a teenage girl.  I wasn’t even thinking about becoming a blogger.  So I used variations on my name as I signed up for accounts—a different one for almost every login, or so it seems now that I’ve tried to go back and make them consistent!

It’s been twelve years since I got my first email address.  (I still have the message confirming my gretchie at email account, on March 29, 1999.)  Twelve years of collecting varying profiles with little thought to consistency.

Brand Confusion

When I attended Relevant (now Allume) last fall, I realized the branding confusion I had created by using the story of our little pink house as my blog and domain name.  I’d introduce myself to someone, and they’d smile politely.  But it wasn’t until they saw my blog name on my name tag or asked where I blogged that they might recognize me.

I wasn’t just Gretchen.  I was Gretchen From: The Little Pink House.  For better or for worse.

I loved the theme of the Little Pink House. It will always be part of my story, but it isn’t really my identity—it doesn’t mean that much to strangers, unless they read the whole story.  Nor is it that unique, since there are a hundred variations of pink house Etsy shops and blogs, not to mention bestselling books.

“A real name communicates authenticity and accessibility. Don’t hide behind a made-up name that is only meaningful to you.”
-Michael Hyatt in Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

So this year, I decided, it was time to streamline and personalize my online presence: it was time for a rebrand.

Choosing My Brand

“If you want to…take what you’re already doing well to the next level, then embrace your name. Your personal brand will make this such an easier transition for growth.”
-Stephanie Bryant in “Are You A Personal Brand?

my personal (re)brand via @GretLouise

But employing consistent “branding” in all my social media profiles wasn’t as easy as it sounded.  My first name was often already in use.  Not to mention that I married a man with a last name almost as difficult to spell and pronounce as my maiden name was!

I knew I needed to use my name.  But a dear friend told me in no uncertain terms I couldn’t use my last name—especially since she had only just learned to pronounce it after all the time she’s known me.  And “merrittsgret”?  “Terribly romantic, but it has to go.”

“What name should you use? Your real name is best—if it’s available.”
-Michael Hyatt in Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

My first and middle name, however, she proclaimed doable—and I’ve never met a variation in spelling on either (though I’m sure there are some!).  So that was settled. it was (and I purchased just for good measure, since I’d always been  But what about my other online profiles?

Gretchen and GretchenLouise were taken on almost every single social media site (do a quick and easy check with KnowEm).  But I came up with a compromise short enough even for Twitter and a nice segue from my previous MerrittsGret: GretLouise.

And then I began the rebranding process one account at a time.

“Think of personal branding as embracing the name you’ve been given and the abilities that you’re known for.”
-Stephanie Bryant in “Personal Branding vs. Building a Platform {why neither are evil}”

Transitional Tagline

“Your tag line is the best friend of your logo. It’s crucial to your brand.”
-Stephanie Bryant in “The Power of a Tag Line”

Rebranding is a process.  Like a cattle brand, your original personal brand will still be remembered (and even visible, to some extent).  But when you rebrand, you can control which brand is most easily seen and found.  And you can use transitional taglines to help minimize confusion.

when you rebrand, you can control which brand is most easily seen and found. via @GretLouise

In the rebranding process, I want to be sure that people know they’ve reached the Gretchen of The Little Pink House when they find my new Facebook page or Twitter profile.  So I’ve kept the tagline “post cards from the little pink house”.  Lisa-Jo Baker has done something similar, with her tagline “tales from a gypsy mama.”

(Plus, that buys me more time to come up with a new tagline! Winking smile)

“A personal brand is just a promise that you’ll be the same wherever you are… A personal commitment… It’s not about self promotion, but about being trustworthy.”
-Stephanie Bryant in “Personal Branding”

Have you gone through a rebrand?  Do you have any tips to share?

Read More: consistent (personal) branding >> (re)branding: step-by-step >> more personal branding tips

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    1. It’s definitely tricky with more common names! Crystal Stine suggests trying for the .me domain extension, but that doesn’t necessarily help with social media usernames.

  1. I’m EXCEPTIONALLY late to the party, but thank you so much for publishing this, Gretchen. I’m also a Louise, and with popular first and last names, so my creativity has been pushed (with tragic results). Fast forward a couple years, and I think I have the requisite creativity, but fear the change. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. I know I’m late to the party here, but I’ve been AGONIZING over my “branding” for awhile now. My blog is called “Gospel Homemaking” and that pretty much sums up what it’s about: Living out the gospel through homemaking. Last year I had my site and logo professionally done (and love it!), so I don’t want to change it to, although I now own that and redirect to my blog.

    I don’t know if I should be using my real-life online name (Amy Clark Scheren) for FB, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. or if I should keep pushing Gospel Homemaking. Since the start of my blog, I’ve been trying to make Gospel Homemaking recognizable, but now I’m just confused! I’m afraid if I drop the Gospel Homemaking name that people won’t even know I go with GH. But, since I may eventually write books, etc. I don’t know if I should be using my real name instead. I want to be consistent, but I’m not sure how it all fits together. I’m still small and don’t have many likes, follows, etc. so now is the time to do it right….I just don’t know what “right” is.

    (Sorry for writing a book! Welcome to my insanity over this!)

    1. Your site is gorgeous! Love it. And I can see why you want to keep such lovely graphics!

      With future projects in mind, branding as yourself makes a lot of sense–but that doesn’t mean you can’t have “Gospel Homemaking” as your tagline.

      You could use “Gospel Homemaking” as your blog’s name/tagline, just putting your name more prominently throughout, and having it at

      Otherwise, you could just use as a landing page for your blog and other social media profiles.

      (I know the struggle, believe me! And have been through the conversation with many friends. There’s no “wrong” decision, just a decision you wish you might have made differently when you look back on it in ten years, LOL!)

    2. One question for you. Will any books you write (or other projects you undertake) come under the heading of Gospel Homemaking? Or will they be on other subjects?

      I’m choosing not to use my full name (although it will be known at times) but rather my business name: Keeping Home. Two reasons, basically. One, I’m hoping for a name change (I’m not married,) and two, everything I plan to do professionally/business wise has to do with Keeping Home and it’s mission. Keeping Home sums up everything a whole lot better than my name does! lol Oh, and there’s a third reason. If I die, I want Keeping Home to continue.

  3. Thanks so much for all your good advice…I’m busy installing WordPress and you are a lifesaver (or a least a big time and headache saver :))
    I am starting a webshop selling handmade greeting cards. So, I am doing ‘OmilyShop’ (Omily wasn’t available anymore) Would you advice doing my own name anyway or staying with the name of the webshop name in this case ?

    1. You’re using “OmilyShop” for your website name? You could use that for all your social media presences, too, or do just plain “Omily” for those usernames–it depends on whether you’ll use them exclusively as the shop, or use them for more than just the shop. 🙂

  4. I love your new “brand”, Gretchen!

    You know, I never thought of this in the terms you shared. I did rebrand this year, but decided to NOT use my given name (don’t feel comfortable with that on the www). I’m “The Natural Cottage Mama”. That sums up who I am quite nicely, I think. I can live with that identity! 😉

    1. I think your brand fits very well with everything you do online, Kristy! Little Pink House wasn’t working with YLCF, social media/tech consulting, and my own personal blogging. 🙂 Personal branding definitely isn’t for everyone. But yours is personal as well, with “Mama” in there. 😉

  5. Thank you! I had considered rebranding and then became fearful of the whole process. You have lifted a huge weight from my shoulders. Now I feel free to expand and change without losing all of my followers. I’ve decided to go with Audra Michelle since I’ve got a last name issue too.

  6. I’m in the beginning stages of rebranding. My husband doesn’t want me to use our last name for security reasons. And I don’t feel that my first and middle name roll off the tongue. So, I looked to family for the second name. My mom and mother-in-law are both Linda Kay (it’s true!) and my daughter’s middle name is Kay. So taking Kay as my second name seemed like a good idea. All that to say, if you names are taken, consider other family members or meaningful names for your “last” name.

  7. Loved reading this Gretchen!
    I’ve resigned myself to being Jess from Life in the White House (just realized that’s actually very similar to your little pink house lol) There is NOTHING available for Jess or Jessica White…even using my middle initial (M) doesn’t help too much.

    Now you got me thinking if I should do something different…hmm.

    1. LOL, that’s true, Jess–hadn’t thought of our house color branding similarities before! 😉

      It’s definitely an individual choice. Glad the series already has you thinking! 🙂