Every few years, I enjoy a visit to a cabin in Oregon, Ill. called the White Pines Family Cabins. This is a place away from the bustle of the work week and, even in the winter, offers a view that is wonderfully remote and relaxing.
This year, I decided to host a retreat for two business colleagues, a get-a-way and get-a-plan type of gathering. But when I jumped online to book the cabins, I found they were under new ownership. It turns out that in April 2019, a young female entrepreneur, Rebecca Jones, was presented with the opportunity to buy the cabins as well as the nearby canyon that is a popular spot for weddings. At the same time, she decided to change the name of the cabins. I stumbled across the short version of her backstory on the “About us” page of her website. Intrigued, I asked if she would come visit us during our stay so I could interview her about her rebranding efforts, a process I am always interested in hearing about.
It turns out, she hired an out-of-state branding expert to work with her on repackaging the business. Rebecca was asked to make a list of words that represent how she wanted people to think or feel when they visited. She told me that although the list was long, one word kept popping off the page: ESCAPE! At the end of the process, she ended up changing the name to Pine Creek Escape. What is interesting to me is that the original name was confusing, because across the street is the White Pines State Park, which also has a selection of cabins but has nothing to do with this business. The word “family” also tells me there are going to be children, pets, noise, and activity well into the evening—an environment that is not a match to my needs.
Now, examine the word “escape” and what comes to mind is remote, quiet, and private—exactly what I need. Also, by removing the words White Pines it will undoubtedly remove some of the confusion that many first-time visitors have regarding location.
Another great example of how she has made the name work for her is how she’s reframed a potential complaint into a benefit. Cell service is spotty at best in this part of the world and the satellite dish offering TV reception is unpredictable. She embraces these uncontrollable circumstances. Right in the welcome binder she warns visitors that reception is unreliable, but then she adds: “But isn’t that what escape means? Enjoy the chance to disconnect!” Brilliant! When the TV went out the first night I was at the cabin alone, I didn’t get irritated. Instead, I stoked a fire and read a book—something I rarely do at home.
Name changing can make a big impact.
What name change might you need to make to a business, a product, a service, or even a person’s title on your team?