When Greater means lesser

I’m in advertising- and one of our specialties is branding. One of the recurring themes in this blog is the Dayton community’s low self-esteem. For some odd reason Daytonians can’t live with the name “Dayton” by itself- we say “Dayton Ohio” as if everyone is going to confuse it with “Dayton Kentucky.” Then, we also have to pay homage to our far-flung suburban neighbors- always with this idea of calling things the “Miami Valley” – like the regional co-ordination think tank- The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.
Like it or not- we live in Dayton- from Tipp City to Springboro- and it’s time to stop discounting Dayton as the regional name. So- imagine when a group of marketing geniuses decide to rename their club- The Dayton Ad Club, the second oldest ad club in the country, to become the “Greater Dayton Advertising Association” for a whole bunch of stupid reasons (see below).
Using the name “Greater” means there is also a “Lesser Dayton”- the city proper. It’s this kind of thinking that continues this self-deprecation. At some point we need people to stop making excuses for where we live- and have some pride. Never mind that the URL “DaytonAdClub” sure beats typing “GreaterDaytonAdvertisingAssociation.”
When you read the ad clubs reasoning- you have to wonder why an outside consultant was called in- once again fueling the perception that we can’t have great ideas in Dayton anymore- only greater ones from some outsider.
It’s time to take some local pride- behind the simple name “DAYTON”

The Dayton Advertising Club has recently undertaken a thorough review of the organization. With the assistance of an outside Ad Club consultant and our national affiliation, the American Advertising Federation, a leadership team assessed past and current conditions.  Various analysis’s were conducted to formulate plans for a successful future.  Recommendations included a name change and strategic plan.
Ad Club to Change Name
The leadership team reviewed definitions and connotations of “club”, “association”, “federation”, and “organization”, and feedback received from members and prospects who indicated the difficulty of getting their supervisor to approve them joining a “club” until they explained what it was.
The exercise showed “association” had a better fit for what we do.  The next step was deciding how to better brand us geographically, with a name that would still identify us with Dayton yet not limit us to the metropolitan area in people’s minds.  The team looked at the population of Dayton and surrounding areas, including the number of companies, and that 25% of current Ad Club members are from either outside of Dayton or identify themselves as outside of Dayton (Centerville, Kettering, etc.).
A number of names were discussed before coming up with a recommendation.
That name was presented to the Board of Directors, who voted by majority to refer it to the membership for vote.  Members who voted approved the name change by majority.
The new name will be the Greater Dayton Advertising Association, effective with the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2006. Information will  be going out to the membership asking for assistance in developing a new logo and branding.

Note- it’s also interesting that the Dayton Ad Club doesn’t report the actual vote- making it hard to judge if the vote was 3-2 or 100 to 15.

What do you think?

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