Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

29 July 2010

The YMCA is Confusing Activity With Accomplishment

I just do not get it. In case you have not heard, the YMCA is now simply the “Y,” unless of course you are referring to the local branch in which it will still be called the “YMCA of <insert locality>.”

Every time I read about this “rebranding,” the same one word question comes to mind, “What purpose does this serve?”  Is it an awareness problem? If one of the most popular party songs ever has not built awareness, I am pretty sure shortening the name to The Y would not do it either.

“Changing the name of the national organization yet keeping the local YMCAs makes no sense.”

Was it to keep up with the times somehow to show that the old YMCA is not old anymore?  But then why are the local YMCAs staying YMCA?

The problem here is that the Y re-branding is an activity that accomplished nothing.  n fact, the name is more convoluted now than it ever was. It is to be known now as simply “The Y” except when they are to be known as “The YMCA.” Neil Nicoll, president and chief executive of the Y said in an interview in the New York Times that it was, in part, to “simplify its message.”  I wonder if that statement came directly from the talking points the agency they hired to do this groundbreaking work. Because in reality, it does not change anything. In fact it is the opposite of simple. It is now more complex. Moreover, the new Y logo still has YMCA on it.

Lets face it, people called it the Y already. Changing the name of the national organization yet keeping the local YMCAs makes no sense. The organization spent some serious money it could have used in its fantastic community involvement work on an activity that accomplished nothing.

See more posts in the following related categories: Advertising Brand Branding YMCA


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