Gilda's Club in Madison, Wisconsin along with several other regional chapters are changing their name to Cancer Support Community because, according to their executive director,
One of the realizations we had this year is that our college students were born after Gilda Radner passed. As we are seeing younger and younger adults who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, we want to make sure that what we are is clear to them and that there’s not a lot of confusion that would cause people not to come in our doors.This is a stupid reason to change your organization's name, especially to something generic and purely functional like Cancer Support Community.
There's nothing unique about the new name, nothing memorable, nothing ownable.
Not to mention they're tossing aside the reason they exist in the first place.
A few years after Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer in 1989, her husband Gene Wilder and Joanna Bull, Ms. Radner's therapist, helped to found the first Gilda's Club in New York City, as a place where women, men and children living with cancer could build a social support network to supplement their medical care. It's a great and moving story.
Throwing out this story because it's been 25 years since Ms. Radner passed away is ridiculous.
Ford didn't change its name after its founder passed away and the brand is still relevant.
I'm fine if you want to add Cancer Support Community as a modifier to the name the name Gilda's Club. A lot of brands do that.
The directors of the club would do better to make sure people know Gilda's story and use it to attract people to their red door. It's a huge asset to the brand and one they're tossing aside because they don't care enough to make it meaningful.
And that is shameful.
Thanks to my friend Yi Shun Lai for the tip on this one. You can read her thoughts on life, writing and other subjects on her blog, The Good Dirt.