Two Cents : Y-ME Gets it Right With Name Change!
Like most, breast cancer has deeply touched the lives of those close to me. Fortunately there are great organizations like Y-Me that provide much needed support to fight this horrible disease. That’s why I’ve proudly participated in the annual Mother’s Day Walk for more than 15 years.
A few years ago, Y-Me did something very unusual when they changed their name to Breast Cancer Network of Strength. To be honest, I was shocked by the change and quite honestly very opposed to it. Why would an organization with so much brand recognition change their name from a memorable two syllable name to a mouthful of generic words? As a marketer, I could see the reasoning behind it. I could imagine people saying that their name doesn’t clearly convey what they do. I could see the argument, but I couldn’t understand the decision. In fact, I wrote their President to make my case.
Somehow I think they forgot one of the most important elements in branding: simplicity. A name is only a name and shorter usually is better. All we have to do is look at Nike as a perfect example. Their name is short and memorable. Facebook, Apple and Ford could also support this argument.
What Y-Me discovered was that their new name wasn’t memorable. They also discovered that it doesn’t convey what they do, but that’s OK. Their branding and marketing can help with that endeavor. Most importantly, they discovered that it’s all right to admit you made a mistake and do something about it. Changing their name back to Y-Me took guts, but it was the right decision and I was happy to see it occur.
Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization (briefly known as Breast Cancer Network of Strength), or Y-ME, is a Chicago-based national nonprofit organization with the mission to ensure through information, empowerment and peer support, that no one faces breast cancer alone. Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization does not fund research but does advocate for research.
Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization’s headquarters is in Chicago, but it has support groups throughout the United States, which provide peer support, educational programs, and coordinate advocacy efforts. Y-ME’s main program is the Y-ME Hotline, the only multilingual 24-hour breast cancer hotline in the country, staffed entirely by trained peer counselors who are breast cancer survivors.