Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

Re: [Rabbits] wwNEWS - Back To the Future! / New Hires / Renaming Rabbits / Shel & Shake

  • FromChuck Durfee <browncoat@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 2 Jun 2010 08:48:03 -0600
Kristin, thank you for responding and letting me know how much you care about us fans. I really wasn't trying to imply that you don't care, but it does seem to me that Looney Labs had been moving away from its strong fan focus. It sounds like I was mistaken, about which I couldn't be more pleased.

I completely agree with you, Kristin, that the name Rabbits needs to change to move Looney Labs forward. Of "lab coats and tye-dye and happy flowers", Lab Assistants only conveys lab coats to me.

I have another objection to Lab Assistant as a title; I don't think it describes the Demo Team role very well. Lab Assistants are normally a part of creating the product of the Lab. With the exception of playtesters, that's not so true for Rabbits.

I suppose I think of myself more as an Ambassador of Awesome or Envoy of Imagination, but those are too kiddie sounding to my ears.

I hope that Looney Labs will continue to foster the childlike feel of its brand, even though it is marketing to game-playing adults.


On Thu, May 20, 2010 at 1:49 PM, Kristin Looney <kristin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
--On May 20, 2010 Chuck Durfee <browncoat@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Let me be blunt. I agree with Stephanie and Seth. I think that over the
past couple of years, in an effort to restructure the organization,
Looney Labs has lost its brand identity and ultimately its way.

The reasons we need to make this change are all about brand identity. One of the things we have been doing as part of the restructuring of my no-longer-quite-so-tiny game company, is to study our customer base and determine who our fans are. Our fans are geeks! Adults who play our games both with their friends and with their kids. We have taken a hard look at all the random branding we had cobbled together over the years - we even called in branding and PR experts and conducted surveys - and we decided what to keep, what to polish, and what to get rid of.

The lab coats and tye-dye and happy flowers are all fabulous branding and make a Looney Labs fan instantly recognized. The name Rabbit and the wearing of rabbit ears is confusing to the brand and turns off many of those in our target market, so it really needs to change even though a bunch of our long time fans so so love being rabbits.

Here are Andy's reasons again if you have not read them:

Demolishing the old Rabbit program before a replacement was ready and
then after such a long wait bestowing the inglorious moniker of Lab
Assistants on a disenfranchised fan base are clear signs that Looney Labs
does not value us fans the way it used to, which is a real shame. 

As a Rabbit, I felt like I was a part of something special. As a Lab
Assistant, I feel like I would be a tool of an unfeeling megacorporation,
which only reinforces my discontent with the direction the company has

Please trust me when I say we still love you guys! I'm still me, we are not becoming an unfeeling megacorporation. I'm finally building you that web site I've been saying for years I would build, and it's going to be awesome. We had planned to have the beginnings of the new fan club site to point you guys to before we brought up this conversation...  but Origins is looming and we didn't want to drop this on our fans at the show.

I'm sure the Rabbit name will live on in many ways for many years, I myself slip and call you guys my rabbits all the time still. Please don't throw away your lab coats just because they say Mad Lab Rabbit on them! Trust me, I know how hard this change will be.  But as we brand the new web site, we are dropping all reference to Rabbits, and going with a new name for our official Demo Team. We are doing this for good solid business reasons... please don't think this means we don't value our fans!

We have spent the last couple of years brainstorming with ourselves and various rabbits and advisors trying to come up with any other name that would work...   and couldn't come up with anything. Only recently did we come up with Lab Assistant and we have been trying it on over the last few months as we have been digging in on the development of the new fan program and the new web site. It works really well - which is awesome - since we have been really struggling with not having something else to say instead of Rabbits. But until we found a name that works, we were planning to launch with no name and ask everyone to try to help us come up with a name...  so please feel free to brainstorm!  If you can come up with something better, we will consider it... the name Lab Assistant is not set in stone. (Yet, she says, with chisel in hand.)

Some criteria for a new name for the fan club:

* can't be another animal name
* short, catchy, easy to spell, easy to remember
* grownup sounding, not kiddie sounding

Lab Assistants isn't exciting, but it does the job well. It can be used in a sentence in all the necessary ways, and it sounds like a Lab Assistant should be wearing a lab coat. I like it - but I'm open to changing my mind if you guys come up with a great name!

-Kristin (of the Looney variety)

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