I remember how hard it was when my wife and I were trying to agree a name for who was to become our first child. For months and months we wrote lists, voted names in and out. We agreed and disagreed. If it was a girl, I wanted her to be called Eliza but my wife didn’t like it. We did have a girl and she’s called Evie. I still prefer Eliza but I was happy to go with Evie and it probably suits her more than Eliza.
The challenge is that a name is so subjective and so personal. Do you go safe or do you go a bit ‘out there’?
I’m sure we’ve all been in a park or a shop where we’ve heard someone call their child a name we think is a bit silly. But they like it and who are we to judge. The world would be pretty boring if we all had the same name.
Now, our job is even harder as we have 170 parents trying to choose our new baby’s name.
A realistic ambition
We’re going down a road now that a million organisations have gone before. And they all face the same challenge. We’re never going to get a name that everyone universally likes. But if we can find a name that everyone can understand the reasoning of and get behind over time – we’re probably doing something right.
The story so far…
We gave Design Dough, the agency working with us on this, all the previous consultation we did and we told them about what we do and some of the things we’d like to do in the future. We said we wanted a name that stood out and a brand that was engaging.
Design Dough did their own research in terms of last weeks workshop with our staff and taking a look at what other organisations used, ruling out names that were already taken or overused or ‘cliché’.
They came back with six possible names but after careful consideration and multiple conversations, one really stood out.
Though, I’ve got to be honest in that I wasn’t immediately sold on the new name.
I have had another name in my head for the last 12 months that I wanted us to use… and this wasn’t it.
But in the space of a few hours, I got it and started to see how it could be perfect. How you could use clever strap-lines, how we could tell the story of what we do and how we do things today and how we may do things in future.
So, what is that name?
Well, for several reasons we can’t quite say yet. I’m dying to tell the world but it’s a little premature at the moment. We’ve shared with staff and will continue to consult with them on how this works, what we should be considering and we’re having great feedback already. I first need to present to our board via a Special General Meeting and they will the vote to decide if we can change our name and our Memorandum and Articles of Association.
What I can say…
Our proposed new name allows us to talk about our role in helping people (unpaid carers and people with care and/or support needs) to get holistic, joined-up services. Where people work together, the responsibilities are shared and service-users are at the heart of a joined up, group effort.
It works in a way that’s not just linked to the provision of care (by carers and us) but highlights that everyone involved cares about people and cares about what they do.
It is also totally different to the names organisations normally use in this sector.
Response so far
We tested this on Wednesday with 10 staff and the response was encouraging too. But as we’d expect from any focus group about something so subjective, there were some that weren’t particularly in favour and others that didn’t like it. But all comments were given with valid rationale and without fear, which I really appreciated.
What was interesting is that one person did exactly what I did… but in a much shorter space of time. They said they didn’t particularly like it when I first showed it on screen but less than 30 minutes later, they said they loved it.
I was asked whether those in the session could share the name with others and I slightly nervously said “yes”. I would have preferred that Design Dough started to turn it into logo options first because I think that will help bring it to life and hopefully give it more of a wow factor.
But I think it’s right to share with our people now and to have a robust conversation about it – it’s about hearing the views, having time to consider it and having the opportunity to feedback.
At the time this has gone out externally we’re also asking for views internally so will continue to gather insight on how we further develop other aspects such as strap-lines, colours and brand strategy too. It’s a collective exercise.
That’s all I can say right now, but hope that by next week we’ll start to see colours and other elements to be thought about and considered and I’d like to share some of those with you as soon as we can. I’d just like to say a massive thanks to all the staff that have rolled their sleeves up and made time in between the day job to help and support with this.
I’m going to stop now before I give too much away.