Name Change: Re-Branding

Campus Crusade for Christ is changing its name.  I must say that I really love this organization and I could not be a bigger fan of our beloved founder, Dr. Bill Bright.  God has changed my life through the great people of CCC.  But, it is time to change our name. I believe that we should have done this years ago and I applaud our leadership for having the courage to lead us in a re-branding process.

With that being said, I want to highlight a recent study of the most popular brands on Facebook (with a few more that I've added at the bottom).  The top list is a mixture of brands that people love and have willingly hit the "like" button as well as brands who are clearly acquiring "likes" through large scale Facebook advertising. 

Top 20 Facebook Brands:
Coca Cola (31,762,653)
Disney (26,613,752)
Starbucks (23,574,752)
Oreo (21,864,091)
Red Bull (21,220,373)
Converse All Star (19,880,308)
Converse (18,977,840)
Skittles (18,286,827)
Playstation (16,245,633)
iTunes (15,862,234)
Pringles (14,765,300)
Victoria's Secret (14,384,903)
Window's Live Messenger (13,926,945)
Ferrero Rocher (11,676,898)
Monster Energy (11,492,620)
Nutella (10,696,260)
iPod (10,530,905)
Adidas Originals (10,433,947)
XBox (10,388,218)
Dr Pepper (9,927,828)

The top ten most valuable brands (2010) would also include IBM, Microsoft, Google, GE, McDonald's, Intel, Nokia, and HP.   Let's throw in some Christian ministries to make it interesting- Pioneers, Young Life, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. 

Here are ten observations I've made from the names of these top brands:
1. Many of them mention part of what they do but don't by any means describe all that they do (Playstation, GE, Monster Energy, Pioneers, Young Life). 
2. Many of them are random words that used to mean nothing to us, but now we understand them (Google, Starbucks, Skittles, Nokia, iPod, Converse, Dr. Pepper...).
3. A few of them are just names of people (Disney, McDonald's, Wycliffe-it's often shortened name).
4. Very few of them describe the majority of "what they do" with their name (Coca Cola, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Windows Live Messenger).
5. None of them include words that would be offensive to any portion of society that they would hope to reach.
6. None of them include words that limit their reach by naming a particular target audience.
7. Some of them just sound cool (Oreo, Red Bull, Pringles, XBox).
8. A few of them are acronyms of words that could be confusing or outdated (IBM, GE, HP).
9. None of them try to describe their entire mission with their name, but their name has become known by their mission and culture.
10. One of them means nothing to me but a lot of people apparently like their chocolate (Ferrero Rocher).

Further thoughts: 
  • Changing our name will not take away from our rich history.  That will (and should) always be a big part of our story as an organization.  
  • Who knows that Dr. Bright wouldn't have wanted a name change in light of the new realities of the culture and world?  He was always on the leading edge of innovation in ministry.
  • Brands/Names matter.  They are the front door to the organization to many, can be a great conduit of trust, and stimulate innovation toward the future. 
  • A brand is more than just a name or a logo.  It is a value-enhancer and the outward expression of the people inside of the organization... who they are, what they stand for, and what they do (I love these things about us).  
  • Fact:  We could adopt the worst, most offensive name there is and God could still do massive things around the world thru us to expand his kingdom.
  • Fact:  We could have the greatest name there is and- if our hearts are proud and our plans are imbedded with our own selfish ambition - we could fizzle in a hurry.  It's God who causes growth. 

All for now.  Lord, lead us on....