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Was it the money, the broad or the five coppers hot on my trail? Why I changed my name... "...

here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name" Boris Pasternak At the end of !"# I started $sing a pen name online, "Pa$l %ontreal" instead of my given name "Pa$l %agee". &here are a n$mber of reasons, some professional, some personal. 'ere(s why I did it... )irst of all it(s something I(ve wanted to do for years. I act$ally stopped $sing my last name a co$ple of years ago. )or a long time my name was "Pa$l and Angel from *$bvert %aga+ine" literally. &hen I was ,$st "Pa$l from *$bvert %aga+ine". A kind of transition period. &hen I became P%. -vent$ally Pa$l %ontreal. Beca$se of the steady transition, most people didn(t act$ally notice. When I separated from Angel last year, there were a lot of changes with *$bvert. In the previo$s year I had p$rposely stepped o$t of the limelight and was doing a lot of things behind the scenes. B$t with Angel p$rs$ing other things I had to become visible again. I also wanted to change the direction of *$bvert. With all that change in the air, professionally it seemed like a perfect time to make the leap to a more effective name. .ikewise, it also seemed like a good time personally to make a change. &he last " months has been a period of so$l searching and re/eval$ating who I am. As someone who has always been deeply interested in self development, personal grown, making yo$rself. Whatever yo$ want to call it. I(m not at all bothered by the idea of choosing my own name along with my own destiny. 0n a basic level I believe in being gratef$l for what yo$(ve been given, b$t not afraid to improve $pon it. Individ$al evol$tion. I(m also not ashamed to say there were many days when "Pa$l %ontreal" became an alter/ego. An idealised version of me. &he me I wanted to be, whilst going thro$gh the hell of a post/break$p. &he 1$estion "What wo$ld Pa$l %ontreal do?" got me o$t of bed on many a day when Pa$l %agee didn(t want to. B$t this wasn(t some )ight 2l$b schi+ophrenic split moment. 3Well, maybe it was.4 B$t as a marketer, Pa$l %ontreal has a very real and practical p$rpose. 'is ,ob is to be remembered.

5ames have a lot more impact than most people like to imagine or believe. &hey can give yo$ an $nfair advantage. -specially in today(s cl$ttered global market. I find myself recommending a name change to abo$t #!6 of the websites I makeover. -ither changing their domain name or their b$siness name. Altho$gh I haven(t yet recommended anyone change their personal name. 7et. 35ot beca$se it wo$ldn(t help, b$t beca$se most people wo$ld be offended by the very idea. And I $nderstand that.4 B$t a bad name can waste 7-A8* of effort. B$ilding a brand on rocky fo$ndations. 9nfort$nately we get so emotionally attached to the names we $se, saying them over and over in o$r own heads, they becomes hard to let go of. B$siness or personal, there(s no real difference. A name is ,$st a hook to hang a set of val$es and beliefs $pon. Pivoting Pa$l %agee... &here were a lot of reasons why "Pa$l %agee" wasn(t ideal from a marketing point of view... )irst of all, there(s are h$ndreds of Pa$l %agee(s. Ireland is f$ll of them. Which means the 9: and the 9* is also f$ll of them. *o, that(s not a good start. *econdly, there(s a very famo$s Pa$l %agee. 'e was an I8A terrorist. *hooting people doesn(t make for great brand association. &hird, there are abo$t "! ways yo$ can spell %agee incorrectly. %cgee, %ckee, %acgee, %ackgee. %r fcking %agoo. I(ve seen them all a do+en times. )o$rth, it ,$st doesn(t roll off the tong$e or stick in the mind. %ickey %o$se, ;onald ;$ck, %arilyn %onroe, ;ick <an ;yke. Pa$l %agee. 7o$(ll remember them, yo$ won(t remember me. And I can(t tell yo$ how important ,$st being remembered in a cl$ttered world is. It(s h$gely, h$gely important. 7es, of co$rse yo$ need to be remembered beca$se of yo$r W08:. 7o$r work becomes concentrated into a set of val$es and beliefs. 7o$r name remember, is ,$st the hook yo$ hang them on in people(s minds. 0n a slight side note / there have been several points where I looked serio$sly at changing the name of *$bvert %aga+ine. 3And tested alternatives4 It was perfect for the original target a$dience. 8adical art st$dents. *$bvert so$nds gritty and street. B$t as it(s changed and mat$red to a more entreprene$rial a$dience, there(s a very real 1$estion abo$t whether it still fits.

B$t what I(ve fo$nd is this, being remembered is waaay more important that having a perfect fit. People remember *$bvert %aga+ine and that(s worth more than anything. As *$bvert evolves this year yo$(re going to see it brighten $p a little. .ess "street" more "tropical paradise island". It will be interesting to see how the name sits on a more optimistic website. I shall contin$e to test and eval$ate as the changes happen. 8ight now I(m testing the new "&$rnaro$nd &$esdays" brand. A more optimistic name which is developing from within *$bvert. I shall share any insights as they happen. Back to Pa$l %ontreal... 0nce the decision had been made, I had to decide how far to go. I haven(t act$ally changed by name legally and didn(t really feel the need. B$t I did like the idea of finding a name that was close to my given name. I wanted to tweak my name, not pretend to be a totally different person. &hat might be a bit half assed, b$t it(s what I was comfortable with at the time. *o my loose criteria were= try and stick with Pa$l as my first name and try and keep the same initials. P%. After that, it was finding a s$rname that people co$ld remember that wasn(t widely in $se. It(s not easy finding something that rings with Pa$l that isn(t totally cartoonish. Pa$l %ontreal was the winner. It has something. I don(t know if it(s strong eno$gh to call it alliteration or something else. And of co$rse it depends how yo$ prono$nce %ontreal. It has no rhyme if yo$ are )rench 2anadian. B$t if yo$(re )rench 2anadian yo$(d still remember it anyway> I did a fair bit of testing and everyone I approached, incl$ding many 2anadians, liked it, remembered it and agreed it had some kind of ring to it. "p/A9. montre/A9." )rom a brand association point of view, first of all I(m no longer associated with terrorism, which is a step $p. I(m associated with a co$ntry most of the world seems to love, 2anada. 3?o space/arm4. And everyone is familiar with the word %ontreal. 7o$ remember it, beca$se yo$ already know it, yo$ don(t have to learn it ,$st beca$se yo$ met me. Which means most people can instantly and acc$rately spell it. It(s a convenient hook to hang my val$es and beliefs on, in yo$r mind. @$st like *$bvert %aga+ine. And that(s abo$t it. I have a pen name that works for me m$ch more efficiently and I have a "character" to live $p to. 5ot a different person, ,$st the best version of me.

Beca$se make no mistake, if yo$(re p$tting anything o$t into the world. &o be picked at and poked at by all sorts of people. People with different val$es and opinions. &hen yo$(re on a stage playing a character. 'owever a$thentically yo$ choose to play the role. What abo$t yo$, how far wo$ld yo$ go to make yo$r mark in someone(s memory?