I floated the idea in November to my wife, obviously, and a barefooter that I trust very much: Barefoot Moe (Twitter: @BarefootMoe). He is a long-time barefooter who has seen it all and been asked on numerous occasions to don footwear when he felt like going barefoot. I asked him if this could even work. I definitely wanted to know if he saw a benefit to this -- if it really could make any difference compared to what he's experienced and seen over the last couple of decades. He thought it would and so we pressed forward.
MANY names surfaced as worthy candidates to identify this brand. The first was -- no kidding -- "People Encouraging Healthy Barefoot Living." If you make that long name an acronym, it becomes PEHBL, pronounced "pebble." Cute and catchy, but the full name was too long. No one would ever remember it and, quite frankly, it didn't really grasp the message we were looking for. Moe and I both thought that the name needed to be shorter and have more "umph." We considered using a strong word that showed we were many supporters brought together as one. We considered words like "coalition," "cooperation," "alliance" and "society." Some names that were floated were:
- Go Barefoot
- Barefoot Life
- Barefoot People
- The Cooperation for Barefoot Health
- The Alliance for a Barefoot Life
That was THE name for quite a while. I used that for most of the prep work prior to the "soft" launch. I made a Facebook Fan page for it. I set up a Twitter account. I explored domain names for it. Then, I had an epiphany a couple weeks before we went live.
Using the term "barefoot" was great for talking about going completely barefoot, but it's always troubled me that people use it when talking about wearing minimalist shoes. Since the organization would be supporting people who receive discrimination because of their minimalist shoes, using the term "barefooting" didn't seem quite right. Even calling minimalist footwear "minimalist" always seemed to send the wrong message, because there are boots out there that let a foot function more naturally than some flip flops.
The point of all this was to advocate for those who wanted their feet to be feet. The group will heavily promote going barefoot but leave open the window for those who just can't bring themselves to do it or find that footwear really is necessary for whatever reason.
I began exploring options for a completely new word to describe the state of allowing feet to function as they were first meant to, whether that be barefoot or in "minimalist" shoes. The term had to be all-inclusive, working just as well in describing going barefoot as a very flexible, thin-soled boot. A few words came to the fore:
So we almost had a finished name. I say "almost," because the name was still slightly different than what it is now. Until close to the very end, the group was the "Primal Foot Alliance," with three words instead of two. After some further reflection and comparison to the word "barefoot," we settled on the idea that the adjective should be "Primalfoot" as one word describing who we are as a group of people.
And so the name has remained "The Primalfoot Alliance." I think it works well. It accurately describes going barefoot and wearing "primal" footwear -- shoes that allow the feet to act as feet -- and avoids confusion about what a "minimalist" shoe is or how someone can run barefoot while wearing footwear.
What do you think of the name? Do you feel like it gets across the idea of letting feet be feet first without restrictive or gait-altering shoes? I welcome you to leave your comments below.
Next: Part III: The Complexity of a Simple Logo
Pebble photo: www.thenervousbreakdown.com