The SBC Name Change

Posted in cultural relevance, southern baptist convention by Nathan Creitz on July 22, 2009

Does the SBC logo look better in color?

My two previous posts urging the Southern Baptist Convention to change its name were wildly and strangely popular. I have to say this is hardly my most passionate topic. I just think the name is irrelevant and I’ve tried to make that point and let that do it, but since there is such a response to this discussion I wanted to give a few follow up thoughts.

Campus Crusade for Christ is considering a name change.

At their annual staff conference today Steve Sellers, one of the VP’s said, “We’re willing to change anything that hinders us from the goal.” They have even hired a firm to look into changing the name. Obviously, “crusade” is a word that hinders effectiveness because it bears the connotation of THE Crusades. Does the term “Southern” hinder effectiveness? Well, it’s irrelevant and it does bear negative connotations for those of us doing ministry outside of the Bible Belt.

– Thanks @spangoo for the info.

TD Banknorth changed its name to TD Bank.

Sure, this was primarily due to a merger between TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank and the legal battles that kept them from naming it TD Commerce Bank, but notice that now that TD Banknorth has banks as far south as Florida, “north” gets dropped. They dropped “commerce” because of legal issues, but they flat out dropped “north” because it wasn’t worth keeping. There was never a scenario where they were considering keeping “north” in the name. Why do we have “southern” in our name again?

KFC was once Kentucky Fried Chicken

But, they aren’t just in Kentucky and having “fried” in the name of a chicken franchise is almost as bad as having “caged” in the name. This example really breaks down, though, because there was a change in name but there wasn’t much of a change in product. The SBC needs both. Also, simply going to the initials still left open the fact that they were kentucky and fried. For awhile they tried to get people to think that meant “Kountry Fresh Chicken” but I don’t know if that’s the official meaning of “KFC” anymore.

Many other examples

There are many other examples of companies changing their brand. Some are successful. Some are not. The SBC really needs both a new name AND a resurgence, if you will, on Great Commission endeavors. Oh right, we’ve already begun the process of a “Great Commission Resurgence”, now we just need the new name (and logo) to go with it. We need to leave the fundamentalist camp and effectively bridge the gap between the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth and the life and times of 21st century western civ.

So, what are some other companies who successfully changed their names or logos? Why did they do it? Did it help them or hinder them? What lessons can be learned for the SBC?

Related Posts:  32 Reasons (and counting) Why Southern Baptists MUST Change Their Name ::  Giving the SBC a New Name

Free eBook: Reaching the Campus Tribes

Posted in missiology by Nathan Creitz on April 20, 2009
by Benson Hines

by Benson Hines

My friend Benson Hines spent a year traveling all across the country with no other objective than to discover what God is doing on university campuses. He wrote a book detailing his discoveries and now he’s exhorting church leaders to join what God is doing. The university campus is the most important mission field in North America (and I’m sure in other areas as well).

This eBook is a powerful wake-up-call AND a call-to-arms for the church whether they are near a university or not. Everyone needs to be involved in this work on so many different levels, but Reaching the Campus Tribes also advocates for being more strategic and not just busy. I know that this book will awaken the American church to the reality that the nations are coming here to study. Until the American church realizes that the gospel is powerful to everyone who believes in it – like the people in Rome who were the intellectual elite and to the universities of today – we will not be effective in any facet of our contemporary society. Until the church becomes a powerful force on campus, we will never influence governments and cultures and nations. I believe this book has a healthy dose of reality without limiting the power of God to work wonders in the universities of our country.