We’ve changed the name of Lutheran Woman Today to Gather and, holy macaroni, the reactions we’ve received. They run the gamut from love to hate: “Thank you so much for this new name, now I can share the magazine with my friends” to “I am disappointed…what are we gathering—eggs, flowers, etc. …But then I was disappointed when they changed it from SCOPE!”
A recent National Public Radio story discussed the challenges companies go through when they consider a new name.
“For instance, would Google be as successful if it were named BackRub—the name when the company started in 1996?” the reporters asked, adding that Twitter first considered calling itself Twitch.
“[The name Twitter] just felt great,” co–founder Jack Dorsey said of the name his company decided on, “so I knew that if I felt great about it, I could convince others to feel great about it, too.”
Take Apple for example. Steve Wozniak, co–founder of the wildly successful computer company, said publicity advisers warned them to get rid of the name, according to the NPR story. Advisers told Wozniak and co–founder Steve Jobs that Apple just wasn’t powerful enough. But the owners wouldn’t budge. “And so we had to fight to hold it a bit, but it was a good name, and we knew it,” Wozniak said in the story.
We believe we have a good name too.
Gather editor Kate Elliott writes in the September issue: “We believe that Gather will help us open our magazine to a wider, more inclusive audience—women of all ages who live out their faith in many ways—but who come together in community to ‘affirm our gifts, support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness…’”
In a column that bookmarks Kate’s, Linda Post Bushkofsky, Women of the ELCA executive director, writes: “This name change brings new possibilities and much hopefulness. Gather offers a more open and inviting image, welcoming more women, both those within the ELCA and also those who are ecumenical partners.”
Back to the NPR story. Twitter’s co–founder Dorsey said you have “two seconds to open the door with the name, and after that, it’s down to the product.”
We like our product, and we think you will too. We might have a new name, but we have the same great, award–winning articles, columns and Bible studies.
It should take you fewer than two seconds to figure that out!
P.S. While you’re at it, come “like” Gather on Facebook.
Terri Lackey is managing editor of Gather.