What’s in a name? Nothing. Everything. Something in between.
Scott told us a heartwarming story about how The Ritz-Carlton, i.e. this:
is so much more than just a name or a brand; a prime example of this is when one family’s son accidentally left his lovey, Joshie, at The Ritz in Florida.
Those of us with kids know that if you lose a lovey, you’re up shit’s creek. The Ritz knew that too, but went out of its way to remedy the situation (you can read the full stuffed giraffe Joshie story on The Huffington Post). Joshie was quickly returned along with a binder full of photos of what he “did” at the hotel after being left there (think golfing, massages, lying by the pool).
So for the Hurn family, The Ritz isn’t “The Ritz” or some lion logo. It’s symbolic of Joshie and the lengths the staff there went to to return him. It’s the customer service, the value, the awesome and kind PEOPLE behind the name, behind the scenes, who went out of their way for a child and a customer.
This article I found on Brand Loyalty summed it up for me:
You want customers to recognize your product, realize its value, prefer your product, keep coming back for more, and tell their friends.
But what goes into a brand? Name recognition is certainly important, but a brand goes far beyond its name. A brand is an accumulation of many activities and attributes, both tangible and intangible, which must be seen by the customer as a total experience. This combination of activities and attributes is what creates value.
We at The Gay Dad Project have come to a crossroads: to change our name, or not to change it. Many people apparently feel our name conveys a kind of exclusivity or bias, and/or that we’re only about gay dads. Those of you who know us well and read us frequently know this is not the case; however, as we pursue further fundraising and continue making our documentary, we realize the importance of coming across as open, accepting, and INCLUSIVE. We welcome stories from everyone in the LGBTQ community and the front page of our blog even says,
We, Amie and Erin, want this website to be a place for conversation about families and what it feels like to have a parent come out. We aim to connect with other children and families who are going through – or have gone through – this experience.
See? Not just for/about kids with gay dads. We’ve said this in our posts, on Twitter, on Facebook, over the phone countless times. We are about MORE.
That being said, we’ll never make everyone happy and someone will always point out something wrong with us, our name, or our organization.
But after hearing Scott’s talk and starting to read Sheryl Sandburg’s Lean In, I’m beginning to think to myself, “Screw it. It’s our name. It doesn’t tell you much of anything. You have to get to know us, interact with us, tweet with us, meet us, chat on the phone to get to know us and what we’re all about. We are more than our name.”
THIS is where it all began: Amie, me, and our gay dads. Hence, The Gay Dad Project.
But the thing is? The conversation doesn’t have to end there.
We’re the Gay Dad Project because that’s how Amie and I came together, it’s how we identified with one another. Many alternate names have been suggested – “The Gay Parent Project,” “Queerspawn,” “Rainbow Families,” and “Queer Parent Project” – to name a few. While we appreciate all of the suggestions and ideas, we think the use of the word “dad” in our title lends itself to the idea that there’s discussion from/for/about kids. Kids like me and Amie. Renaming and using the word ‘parent’ may imply that our project is aimed solely at gay or queer parents.
My name is Erin. But I don’t end there. I’m so much more than just a name.
Our name is The Gay Dad Project and this is where we begin. Our project is about families where one parent comes out and it was started by adult children of gay dads.