why so midwest? – a note by Robb Jibson
-in 2005 I was being asked by my new business manager to deliver a name for the new company he was helping me form. You see, jobs were getting bigger and things were scaling beyond the normal freelance status! You know, liability, workers compensation insurance. taxes. hiring people. buying gear. grown up stuff. Just some of those boring things you have to do in order to do it the right way.
Names are tricky for me; they need to be great!
And the overwhelming feeling is that the good ones are gone already!
One of my most influential mentors once told me that if he could go back in time he would not have named his company after himself. It was too short sighted and after he gained a team of people he felt weird about it because it was bigger than just him!
I have always had trouble coming up with names. It is just not my thing. The things I like and enjoy outside of the business are not name influencers. I couldn’t call it “Walter Payton Designs” after all! No one would hire “Vespa Track Racing Designs” for their production! I didn’t want to become one the the 3 letter faceless groups out there. [apologies to the 3 letter faceless groups out there!]
The paperwork was done, the only thing waiting on filing with the state was the name! I was stuck. After a few weeks of stagnation, I was watching one of my favorite bands at The Empty Bottle, a venue on Chicago’s north side.. After the show something caught my eye on the floor.
It was a 1” pin back button.
It must have fallen off somebodys jacket.
It said “ so midwest.”
See I’m from here. I live here. I like it here. It just felt right. I had one of those “in the moment feelings.”
So I went for it.
Years later, looking back, it is kind of weird.
You do have to explain it to people.
often… They don’t immediately get it and sometimes even after you explain it!
I’m sure that branding professionals will tell you that it fails on that merit alone!
Its not a slight to any other place. We work all over the place. worldwide.
It makes zero sense outside of the USA. So Midwest of Russia? Not so much?
But people seem to like it. Its a gimmick. Its memorable.
After all, in time I’ve learned that it is just a name, a billing identity. [ I learned my lesson 3 letter companies, and people do sometimes abbreviate it as SMW!!! Nuts!]
What we have become is a group of dreamers and doers who like to create for live events!
We also get to make art while collaborating with fun people.
So that rules!
So Middle Coast!