[TheThinkTank] What's in a Name?

Paul Nagel paul at thebicycletree.org
Fri Jun 14 11:12:09 PDT 2013


Sorry, I didn't put in there that our name is The Bicycle Tree.

An additional thought is that I have some degree of doubt about our name being so friendly, it's maybe almost cartoonish. Our youth programming is and will be mostly for teenagers and they probably more than any other age group hate childish sounding names, ever eager to prove they are strong adults acclimated to harsh reality...

From: paul at thebicycletree.org
To: thethinktank at lists.bikecollectives.org
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2013 10:48:37 -0700
Subject: Re: [TheThinkTank] What's in a Name?




We chose ours a long time ago, seeing some parallels between the human relationship with trees and what we hope our organization can do for the communities we serve.

Notions of the tree of life, the tree of knowledge, the giving tree, trees as a gathering place all figured in there. Trees as a symbol of our environmental motivations. We also have wanted youth programming to be a big part of what we do since the beginning, so that made us accepting of the fact that the name is pretty happy sunshiny.

We called ourselves La Moda Bicycle Garage at first (with La Moda meaning both mode of transportation and fashion), but fortunately we ditched that early on.

I would recommend being very selective about the name you choose. Have it reflect and represent who you are, what you do, your community, and the role you wish to play in it, so it is important to solidify your vision and priorities. I think it may be a given that a bike-related word will be part of it, but otherwise there's a world of possibilities. Marketing and branding can be as important for nonprofits and community organizations as they are for other enterprises. So you might think of a logo and other stuff, too. For us it evolved rather gradually, but if you can muster a strong sense of who you are early on it can help. Maybe don't invest a ton of resources and time early on but at least consider that it's more than superficial. It's about clearly communicating what you do and connecting with your people.

-Paul

Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:22:29 -0400
From: vanslyke.matthew at gmail.com
To: thethinktank at lists.bikecollectives.org
Subject: [TheThinkTank] What's in a Name?

Plans are progressing nicely here in the Empire State and if all goes well we'll be opening a new community bike shop here in Utica, NY very soon. 
As you all know, there are many, many details and decisions to be made. One of these early decisions is choosing the right name. We've bounced around several ideas and I'm trying to come up with something that jumps out at me but so far that hasn't happened. 

So I thought I'd put it out to this group and ask that you share some ideas about how you came to be "who" you are.
Did you:
Pick names from a hat? Throw darts at a wall? Take a vote? Go with your gut and use the first name that came to mind?
And, do you now regret the name you chose for any reason? Did you end up changing the name? If so, why?

I'd like to hear from you. Thanks a bunch.
Matt VanSlyke_______ Bike __________ Utica, NY


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