The power of your iD is unlocked when you connect it with your research information in other systems: use your iD when you are apply for your next grant, submit your new recent paper, or update your society membership.
As a researcher, you use your name in many ways. You author a paper. You are an investigator on a grant proposal. You are a staff member at a research institute. You write a thesis. All of these are examples of using your name in a transaction where you shared information about your research contributions or affiliations. All of these transactions are stored in an information system. What ORCID allows you to do is to insert your unique identifier into these transactions, which makes it possible to easily group and collect all of your research activities - easily and accurately.
How does this work in practice?
Let’s say you are authoring a paper. You’ve decided which journal you would like to publish it in. That journal will have a submission system, and you will submit your paper using a web form. That form asks you for all kinds of information: your name, your affiliation, contact information, your co-authors, etc. Journals are now also asking for your ORCID iD, and are starting to pull information from your ORCID record - such as your affiliation, related grants - that is being used to help you complete the submission form. On the other side, once your paper is accepted, the journal will include your ORCID iD in the published paper. Your iD is indexed in the major search platforms (such as Google, Scopus, Web of Science, WorldCat). Your iD is also used to update your ORCID record with the information about your paper (title, journal dates, and DOI). And the systems that connect to ORCID - like your university repository, your funder reporting database - are automatically updated.
All you had to do was include your iD when you submitted the paper.