What’s in a name?

That’s an easy one – and the answer is quite a bit actually.

And yes, I can also confirm that a rose by any other name can smell as sweet – if not sweeter. Just ask any marketeer or branding agency.  Names matter.

Names – whether personal or business – mean something to people.  They can resonate with who we are and what we stand for and can create images and feelings in the people that know us. That’s pretty powerful stuff, and in a nutshell it’s why Online Centres Foundation became Tinder Foundation last month.

The fact is that OCF itself meant nothing. It’s as inanimate as UPVC, and possibly as devoid of character. Online Centres Foundation wasn’t much better. While the wonderful UK ‘online centres’ we work with are still our major USP and inspiration, online centres is not who we are or the sum of what we do. It’s not really who THEY are. When it comes down to it, we’re about people, and what we do together is to kindle change, hope and skills.

We want to do even more of that in the future, and we wanted that ambition – that essence – to be at our core.  In short, we needed a brand new name for a bright new future. Cue the very hardworking team in Sheffield…

I think everyone thinks a rebrand has to cost the earth – we proved it doesn’t. Most of the work was done in-house, in discussion with the Tinder team, UK online centres and some of our fabulous partners. We started to think about who we are, what we do, and most of all who we wanted to be. The word ‘Tinder’ came from the concept of sparking new ideas and innovation, igniting change at a local level and helping it to grow and scale up nationally. The word captured our imaginations, and as a staff owned mutual we voted in favour of the new name at our first AGM earlier this year.

To polish Tinder up a bit, we then went out to get a bit of help from a great communications agency called Neo.  They’re a company with a difference as they only work with people who are doing something good in the world. You can find out more about them here – www.weareneo.com. They came up with the fingerprint idea – and before you ask, no, it’s not mine! What we liked about it was that it stood for people, individuals, and individuality – representing the millions of people we’ve already helped and the different paths and routes they’ve taken as a result.

In answer to the original question, I think we’re already ‘sweeter’ under our new name, and that it’s already helped shape our thinking about the future.  In fact you can see our plans to make Tinder our practise as well as our name in our new three year strategy here.

So far Tinder has a positive reception from our partners and peers, but I’d love to hear what you think about it – do comment here or email me at hello@tinderfoundation.org.

In the meantime, you can find out more about the name change in my presentation here, and more about Tinder Foundation on our website – www.tinderfoundation.org.

One thought on “What’s in a name?

  1. Pingback: What’s in a name? – Helen Milner | Public Sector Blogs

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