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City of Bristol Gets Heat for Hiring Consultants

Looks like the ‘evil’ consultants are back at work. The city of Bristol (England) paid a consulting firm over $100,000 to come up with a new name for the Museum of Bristol.

The new name they came up with? “M Shed”. Sounds okay, right? So where’s the big problem? Why are people so upset. It turns out that the name M Shed is actually what the building was called many years earlier.

In this case, the public is mad because the consultants didn’t come up with a new name. The problem isn’t the name, it’s that it’s not new. And to many, receiving a fat wad of cash for ‘re-using’ a name doesn’t sound right. It sounds too easy…

I don’t know if this museum is funded by the tax payers. If it is, then people have a right to get all worked up about this, but it doesn’t mean they are correct to do so.

The consultants, quite possibly, did their job exactly how there were supposed to. Most naming projects, and I’ve been involved in many in the past when I owned a branding and design firm, involve the design/brand consultants coming up with numerous naming ideas.

These are then filtered and reworked until a set of final, the best of the best, names are presented. Often times the client will have seen many naming possibilities. Ultimately, it’s not the consultants choice which name is chosen, it’s the client’s.

So, after looking over many different names the Museum, I would think, chose the name they like the best – M Shed.

While to many it seems that the consultants are being paid for the end result, in fact they’re receiving their fee for the process they take to ensure as best as possible the end result is optimal.

If this happened in your city, what would you think?


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