1000 Friends of Washington changes it name: Becomes 'Futurewise'


Washington State - 1000 Friends of Washington, long involved in lawsuits across the state promoting more regulation on private and public property, has changed its name.

In a news release issued on their website, the organization says:

"New name is stronger and more representative of our work.The state’s leading advocate for livable communities and land conservation has a new name: Futurewise. We also have new tagline: “Building Communities, Protecting the Land.”

"Why change?

"We are doing powerful work. We needed a stronger name. There are more than 300 groups in Washington with the word “Friends” in their name. “Friends of…” is a generic name that made it almost impossible for us to build recognition and credibility with the general public.

"Growth management is broad and complicated. The Growth Management Act itself has fourteen key goals. If you have to summarize our work in one word, there is only one word that can do the job – future. We are working to help communities create a better future.

"A unique, credible and evocative name is the cornerstone that will enable us to build a brand that connects with the general public, the key ingredient for building a bigger, stronger, more recognized organization.
And with that, Futurewise will more effectively lead the charge as the Smart Growth movement takes root ever more firmly in communities throughout Washington.

"How did we arrive at this decision?

"To answer that, it’s best to step back a bit.

"Spurred by countless tales of confusion over the 1000 Friends of Washington moniker (Is that a word or a number? Only 1000 friends? Is that a Quaker group?) a group of staff and board began about 18 months ago to address the lofty question, What’s in a name?

"Specifically, we asked what was both valuable and problematic about the 1000 Friends’ name. Certainly, there were arguments for keeping it. For one, we’ve got 15 years of equity. For another, people who circulate in the growth-management world know us by that name and we might confuse some with a change.
But in the end, we found the liabilities outweighed the assets, particularly when we began to consider, with some powerful expert help, the attributes that make up a truly successful brand name.

"Polling over the years has shown us that our name recognition among ordinary citizens who consider themselves environmentally minded was far lower than we believed it should be, particularly given the relative frequency with which news of our work appears in the state’s largest newspapers.

"And anecdotal evidence noted a number of problems. People morphed the name into all kinds of forms. We were “Friends” to some, “1KF” to others and “FOW” to others still. And, where exactly do you put 1000 in the phone book? Plus the name suggests that there are only 1000 of us.

"So we set out to turn the negatives into a positive.

"With the very generous help of Terry Heckler, whose advertising and design firm Heckler and Associates has named and developed many of the world’s most recognizable brands (Starbucks coffee comes first to mind), we engaged in a disciplined study of our needs.

"A good name, a name that facilitates the building of a brand in the crowded arena of public discourse, needs to be both unique and credible. It needs to be spelled easily, pronounced simply and consistently reproduced. It needs to stand the test of time, lest its descriptive nature fail to capture the scope of future work. All the while, it needs to evoke positive reactions from those who hear it for the first time.

"So, we asked, what are we working for? What underscores everything we do? What defines our movement?
The product of our work, and of a number sessions in which Heckler guided us through a detailed process honed over 30 years of brand development, was Futurewise.

'Futurewise: Building Communities, Protecting the Land.
After the board endorsed the name change, we enlisted the enormous creative talent of designer Kate Thompson, principal in the firm Dillon-Thompson, who donated her considerable efforts in the creation of our new logo. We find the swooshing dots as a powerful metaphor for a progressive path into the future.
In addition to Terry Heckler and Kate Thompson, Keith Zentner, a Seattle marketing consultant, also deserves thanks for taking time from his business to help in designing the Futurewise web site. Sayre Coombs lent her excellent design skills to the re-design of this newsletter.

"Futurewise owes its thanks to volunteer designer Michael Leavitt, board members Jay Arnold and Dave Russell, and staff members John Healy, Susan Elderkin and Scott Kennedy.

"Now we set out to introduce ourselves as Futurewise to the world. As you’ll see when you read the stories throughout this edition of Outlook, the name may have changed, but the product of the organization is the same great work you have come to expect as you’ve supported us over the years.

"It is our sincerest belief that the development of our new brand under the Futurewise banner will enable us to connect with a far larger audience, with far greater capacity to support our mission, than ever before."

The Futurewise website is at http://www.futurewise.org/



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