Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Value of Monoymous Branding

Have you ever stopped to think about becoming mononymous?

And what that might be worth to you?

This is serious stuff.


Being a dedicated, fully practicing mononymous person could make you a lot of cash some day.

Serious coin.


According to Wikipedia, a mononymous person is an individual who is known by a mononym or what we know as a "single name". In some cases, the handle has been deliberately selected by the individual or perhaps by a friend or interested segment of the public.

Now sit on front of your screen and ponder for a moment, all the celebrities you know who are famous for being mononymous - going by a single name.

Your list might include some, or all of the following.


Now that you have the idea, see if you can pick out the single-name brand allegedly being maligned in this latest E-Trade spot, which aired on Super Bowl Sunday.

According to reports, Lindsay Lohan is suing E-Trade, stating that the "milkaholic" baby named Lindsay was modeled after her. She is demanding $100 million for her pain and suffering after filing a lawsuit this week in Nassau County Supreme Court. Her lawyer, Stephanie Ovadia, claims the actress enjoys the same single-name recognition as Oprah or Madonna and that Lohan’s "name and characterization" were used without paying her or getting her approval.

You can decide for yourself whether Lindsay has a case, but it does lead to an interesting debate over which single-name brands would rank as the world's most recognized.

For what its worth, here are the official rankings for the TSB "Top 5 Mononymous Brands" for 2010.


Born somewhere between 429 and 423 BC, his personal brand has more than stood the time of time 2,500 years later. Founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world, Plato helped lay the foundations of natural philosophy, science, and Western philosophy. Originally a student of Socrates, Plato used to instruct a kid named Aristotle.

#4. CHER (aka Cherilyn Sarkisian)

After beginning her career at the age of 17 with mononymous partner Sonny, she went on to establish herself as a successful solo recording artist, TV and movie star. Cher has won an Academy Award, a Grammy, an Emmy, three Golden Globes and is the only female solo artist to reach the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in each of the past four decades.

#3. BONO (aka Paul Hewson)

Irish singer, musician and political activist who is still married to the girl he met when he was 15. The lyrical and spiritual force behind one of the world's most successful rock bands, Bono has used the celebrity associated with the U2 platform to drive a number of causes, many of which support aid to Africa. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II and was named as a Person of the Year by Time Magazine.

#2. MADONNA (aka Madonna Louise Ciccone)

The "Material Girl" from Bay City, Michigan has become famous for pushing the boundaries of lyrical and visual content in mainstream pop culture like few before her. Whether it was her coffee table book, "Sex", music video, "Like a Prayer", studio album, "Erotica" or her role in the erotic thriller "Body of Evidence", Madonna has inspired passionate mixed reactions from all sides of the political and religious spectrum.

And finally ... the leading Mononymous Brand of 2010, according to this latest TSB ranking is none other than ...


Born into extreme poverty in rural Mississippi, raped at the age of 9 and pregnant at 14, she has become a global icon for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show - the highest-rated program of its kind in history. Oprah ranks as the richest African American of the 20th century and was once the world's only black billionaire. She is also viewed as one of the most influential women in the world, able to help a former civil rights attorney from Illinois wind up in the White House.

"I always knew I was destined for greatness"

1 comment:

East Coast Gal said...

Sorry Blair, but I don't think Sonny (of Sonny and Cher) was mononymous -- he is known as Sonny Bono. Same could be said for Adolf, Hilary, Tiger. I may be splitting hairs, but without their last names, who are they for sure? Cher, definitely. Oprah, definitely. Prince, oh yeah.

But I love the story, and I had to watch the e-trade commercial three times it was so good! Lindsay as a monomymous brand? Not likely.