Since the explosion of social media, brands have looked at it like it was the wild wild west. For the most part it was. Remember back in the mid to late 90s when there was a dot-com for everything? People were snatching up URLs like looters during a riot.
With the announcement of Facebook usernames and Twitter verified accounts, brands (personal or business) need to step up their game and solidify their online identity before it gets jacked. In the same vein, they need to have a slush fund for those folks who are going snatch up account names JUST so they can leverage it with a brand and get paid. It's going to happen. Trust me.
The move to unique URLs for social media services brings up another thing to think about on a personal level.
We, as professionals (no matter what line of business you're in), need to think about what our personal brands will be. How will we use them for employment purposes? Will we boast our Facebook page or Twitter status on our resume? Or will we use names that are innocuous? I'm voting for transparency, mostly because social media is the business I'm in or chosen, as they say.
So brands, beware. Don't have your identity jacked.