Tuesday, July 13

Why Just Y?


The YMCA announced yesterday that it will be shortening its brand name to just "Y" as part of a five year plan to completely rebrand its organization across its vast network of resources. Let's face it, we've been calling it that for decades anyway.

Funny because just a few weeks ago social media outlets, and even my blog, were all a twitter over Chevrolet supposedly not wanting to use the name "Chevy" anymore. And here the YMCA is embracing its nickname, and attempting to freshen its positioning and its look as a result.

I think it's smart, honestly. If you've ever experienced a YMCA, you will notice that the network is quite inconsistent. Some locations are fabulously modern, while others are in desperate need of a reinvention. Some have gorgeous state of the art gyms and recreation facilities, while others are well .... . By giving the brand a national overhaul, perhaps management will be able to give its locations some consistency of services, environments, and branding. In this case, a shorter and hipper version of its name will reinforce the changes being made inside.

The brand's mission isn't really changing, if you read the fine print. Just a little more welcoming and perhaps more of a focus on youth, but still providing resources for all kinds of people and their various needs. And hopefully consistently from location to location.

I applaud the work. But must acknowledge that the dance floor will never be the same. "It's fun to stay at the Y" -- I'm sure The Village People aren't too happy.

What's your experience? Jim

2 comments:

  1. It's about time they got with the times and dropped the 19th century trappings. In this age of diversity and acceptance could they have had a more polarizing (official) name.....Young Men's Christian Association? They're simply catching up with where their customers and society generally have been for a long time.

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  2. Changing the name won't mean a thing unless they really become consistent, as you wrote.

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