When we began running Solution Tree in 1998 the name of the company was National Educational Service, NES. NES has been started in 1987 and somewhere around 1995 a trademark infringement happened with National Evaluation Systems who owned NES. They worked out how to live together with both having the same acronym and went about their merry ways. Problem is the previous owners kind of forgot to tell us. So in 1999 I stepped in it knee-deep, and then in 2004 when we were really getting some traction, and they were being acquired, they stalked until they found two infractions and sued us for $5,000,000. Heck, it could have been $5 Billion, made no difference. So we joyfully embraced the option of choosing a new name.
We were certainly not in the position of hiring a firm like Michael Cronan and Associates whom you pay big bucks to help you pick company or product names. One of their biggies is Amazon’s Kindle. So we went about it in a much more fun and collaborative way. Internally.
We bought a naming software, we surveyed staff, authors, associates, family and friends. We narrowed and re-surveyed, and voted, then realized we need to start all over again, and eventually we had consensus among the staff to re-name and re-brand the company Solution Tree. A two word name, not easy to become another educational organization acronym, and one that truly fits who we are and what we do.
There is a lot in a name. To launch a new book, event or digital product you real need to think it through, have fun, shelve the discussion and come back, and possibly go with your initial instinct. You will know when it is right. We did with Solution Tree. Hope we are equally as successful with the upcoming launch of Global PD. We’ll see!