What's In A Name?

Hi there and welcome back for the 2nd installment of the Terracea blog! It's been a crazy couple weeks, nailing down water bottle and t-shirt orders and responding to all the feedback we've received regarding our website. Which, by the way, has been AMAZING. We are incredibly thankful to everyone who has provided us with tips on how we can improve the site or offered up words of encouragement.

This time around we thought it would be cool to delve into the murky details surrounding one of the most important aspects of our brand - our name, TERRACEA.

Before becoming Terracea, we were creating our early winter jacket designs as Switch Apparel Company!

So what's in a name? Well, think about when you meet someone and learn their name for the first time. At that moment, you begin to form an impression of that person, either purposely or subconsciously. You take note of the things they say; the way their voice sounds; the clothes they are wearing; their movements and mannerisms; that funky smell which may or may not be them but you're definitely going to remember it next time you meet; and you start to piece together a holistic picture of that person, forming an association between all those elements and their name.

Now factor in other people you've met with the same name - chances are you had already built some mental associations between that name and your expectations for what that person might be like. It works the same way for a brand: You hear the names McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, and you immediately feel a certain way based on your perception of those brands and the impressions they have made on you.

So all that said, we arrive at the big question: How did we decide on the name Terracea? Well, it didn't come to us in some hypercognitive transcendental vision, although that would have made for a really compelling story. No, the truth is it was something we struggled with for weeks. Part of the issue was that we didn't start out as Terracea (which may come as old news to you if you saw OUR STORY). We started out under the name Switch Apparel Company, which ultimately posed a variety of problems...

The name "Switch" was a two-headed beast. First, it was based on a key bit of functionality we intended to incorporate into our jacket designs – the ability to switch jacket layers and colors without compromising the fit or performance. Second, for those of you who don't ski or snowboard, "switch" is a word used to describe either skiing backwards or snowboarding with your non-dominant foot forward. So it hit on multiple levels. Pretty clever, right? RIGHT?!? We thought it was clever. 

So why did we switch from Switch? Well, the biggest issue was that the name was limiting. It was tied into a functional aspect of our 3-1 jackets. So when we started talking about future jacket designs and expansion ideas, we realized that a lot of products just wouldn't sync with the idea of attaching and detaching layers. But Switch was also limiting from a branding angle. We didn't want to build a company that only catered to skiers and snowboarders – we wanted to create the perfect jacket for all kinds of people and scenarios, and the brand needed to reflect that. Oh, and not to mention there were at least a dozen other apparel companies named Switch. Whoops. 

Just some of the names we came up with to fill the Switch void.

And finally we arrive at the name change. We listed out every name we could think of that was even remotely related to our products and brand vision. Of the 100+ we concocted, here are some standouts:

  • Morf (Like Morph, but with an 'f' to connect with the kids these days.)
  • Kapakan (Misspelled Aztec mountain god. We think. Sounded too much like Comic Con.)
  • Dyadaha (It means two of a kind. But two of what? That's anyone's guess.)
  • Beric (Brian + Eric. We came pretty close to choosing a variation of this one.)
  • frost.forest (Had to be all lowercase with the period in between. No compromise.)
  • BAESIC (Acronym for Brian And Eric Switch Is Cool.)
  • Mtnality (Mountain mentality. Mountainality.)
  • Snapwich (Based on early jacket technology we created. And even more limiting than Switch.)
  • Aeth3r (With a 3 because Aether was already taken.)
  • Terrahedra (The four triangles comprising a tetrahedron would represent the elements earth/air/fire/water. Cool idea but pretty abstract.)
  • Auilix (What?)
  • Beartrap (Nope.)

We were able to dismiss some names pretty quickly (cough *Beartrap* cough) but it wasn’t easy after narrowing down the list significantly. We considered how each name meshed with our brand vision, how each one rolled off the tongue, and how they might look in logo form, and finally concluded that TERRACEA was really the perfect name for us and our company.

And that was it! Our destiny had been decided; our fate sealed. From then on we would forever be known as Terracea. Pretty cool right? What do you think of some of the other names we considered? Let us know in the comments section and feel free to rip into any of them (except Terracea because we're pretty attached to that one)!

Phew, that was a long blog. Lots of exciting product news and shorter blog posts coming soon so stay tuned!