You Spoke, I Listened

I posted a logo contest on Facebook this past Friday for Lady Soleil. Almost half of the feedback was negative.

In total, 80 plus comments were delivered, some friends just giving love, many friends criticizing the logos. Here are the critiques:

  • Lady Soleil is a bad name
  • Sun logos are obvious and cheesy
  • The combinations make you look like a) a feminine hygeine company, b) a Myrtle beach (or some other beach) type of company c) a tanning salon
  • It isn’t clear what you do

At first I defended the name, as the company is named after my daughter, and it has been for the past two years. Plus the initial comments seemed like graphic designers fighting the religious war against crowdsourcing (which in turn made me regret posting the contest in the first place).

This is not to get into the whole crowdsourcing creative services debate, which is significant in its own right. As a writer who competes in a market where my creativity is often demanded for free (like blogs, white papers, etc.), I certainly empathize with my creative brethren, but have surrendered to market realities.

Yet as the comments continued, I realized the comments had more substance. Those who commented were sincere in trying to prevent me from making a possible mistake. The feedback was valuable and useful.

I should be grateful that enough people cared about my business to voice their opinion in the first place. Because so many did, I listened.

As a result, I am considering several paths.

It’s too costly to change the company name. Instead, I am having a conversation with my lawyer this week about the possibility of picking up a trade name for Lady Soleil, Inc. This is legally known as “doing business as” (DBA), and would represent a trademark. A lot depends on cost and complexity in the commonwealth of Virginia, but it is a possible route to explore. And I do have an awesome name up my sleeve.

In addition, I am still working on a possible Lady Soleil logo (see above), albeit one without the sun. It also includes a small tag that describes what I offer (marketing services).

Regardless, the feedback clearly made an impact and was useful.

Thank you.

Even Obama Thinks the Redskins Should Rebrand

In an interview with the Associated Press, Barack Obama revealed he thinks the Redskins should rebrand. The interview came ahead of an NFL owners meeting here in Washington today. The Oneida Nation is planning a live protest to coincide with the meetings.

One of the big arguments against rebranding is a belief that protestors represent a small, but vocal minority. “I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” said Barack Obama.

My original post against the Redskins name created some interesting reactions, mostly from die-hard football fans against the rebrand. The argument that only a few people care about the name caused me to start a Care2 petition to demand that Dan Snyder and Roger Goodell abandon the racist Redskins name.

Almost 8000 people have signed it to date. More than a few, I’d say.

Should a White Guy Care?

Then there was the whole notion that because some Native Americans aren’t offended (while others like the Oneidas are), then I — a white guy — shouldn’t care.

I am going to have to rely on my ancestors who started the Anti-Defamation League on this one. If it’s demeaning, it shouldn’t be said.

Hey, you know what? I get it. The name was less offensive to the general public just ten years ago. But times change. It doesn’t feel right to say the name anymore. It feels like a slur.

In the past the words negro and colored were commonly accepted names for African Americans during the era of oppression. We thankfully evolved beyond that, too. I am sure some African Americans of past generations weren’t offended by it, but most were. They protested, and things changed.

And you know what? Some white folks joined them because they felt racism was wrong.

Do you think the fact that Pee Wee Reese was a caucasian man stopped him from putting his arm around Jackie Robinson in 1947?

The Cost of Rebranding

Money has been cited as a reason not to rebrand, too. Advertising Age estimates it would cost $15 million to rebrand the Redskins. But that does not include how quickly the team would make up the money lost with sales of new brand gear (assuming they do better than the horrific rebranding of the Washington Bullets to the Wizards).

If a little school in Canada can do it, so can Dan Snyder.

The real cost maybe caused by not acting. As a result, Snyder can expect continued animosity, deteriorated brand value, and eventually a larger brand issue for the NFL.

What do you think?

Please sign the rebranding petition if you care.