Branding confusion: shall we clarify?


#1

As we are moving forward in France to structure our local entities / projects, we hit again some branding issue.
We find that a big part of the confusion when we pitch the OFN is that the Open Food Network is more than the software, but both have the same name, so when we talk about OFN we don’t know if we talk about the software or the community doing also knowldge building and sharing, etc.

Also, we are heading more and more towards the Open Food Network being able to provide online sales management tools, but it could be a solution mixing OFN with Odoo or OFN with other sofwtare, it could be part of OFN modules assembled with other modules from other sofwtare.

In France now we describe the mission of the OFN as “identifying and building software that are relevant to use by the local / solidarity food ecosystem” so we don’t close the door, and if that’s relevant at some point to contribute to some Odoo module that our community needs and provide it, I think we will do it.

So I think we should start distinguishing the OFN software, and the Open Food Network broader project, connected to a mission that is broader than building a single piece of software.

What I do now already is that I use OFN to talk about the software and Open Food Network to talk about the community and general project. Maybe we should rebrand the software name for something like “FOODOS”, or “OSFOOD”. It would be “OSFOOD” by the OFN. So the OFN is making this software, but is making other things.

Thoughts? @Kirsten

Brainstorming on software name:
-Open Food Software / OFS / OFsoft / Open Food Soft


#2

The thought of re-branding in Australia is very daunting given how much time we’ve spent already explaining Open Food Network as software! Although we are trying to move away from that now in how we describe ourselves and our offering.

I think for those instances in a stage early enough to make the distinction between the platform as one thing and the Open Food Network as another would be well advised to make that distinction from the beginning, whether that’s through separate names or just how we describe what we do. I agree that if anyone does want to call the software something else then we should all agree on a name for it.


#3

I think we have the same issue as @MyriamBoure in Canada. When I registered OFN-CAN as an incorporated not for profit, our board needed to come up with terms of reference that were broader than ‘just’ software provision. So we talk about, working with sister organizations around the world to identify, code and curate open source tools toward building sustainable food systems. But just this week, OFN_CAN applied for a research project (to map the use of agri-food platforms in Ontario’s small and medium farming sector) - and so I had to modify our terms of reference to include research. And I find increasingly, food and farming organizations here are asking me to sit on committees, present at conferences etc - and they are NOT looking for me to talk about the OFN platform . They want someone to talk about the broader landscape of digital solutions… SO - just a few examples - to affirm that we need to be able to separate OFN the global community from OFN the platform too. I think OFN should definately stay the name for the community and we need another software platform name. We could use - Open Food Platform ? which is different, but similar enough in branding ?? Open to suggestions. But we’d like to do this as part of our new website we are developing - and we are targetting December for that launch. Basically the software platform will have its own site - as a secondary, linked to site, from the main www.openfoodnetwork.ca site. So it would be easy to call the platform something different there.


#4

Thanks @Jen and @tschumilas for those feedbacks. I made the first post a wiki so we can start brainstorming names. The simplest to me would be Open Food Software something like. The network is the people, the software is the software.

@tschumilas one comment though, I would be careful about the term “platform”, we need to distinguidh the software, which is the code, lines of Ruby language thing, what is on the Github repository. And the platform which is a deployment of that code on a server that makes the website appear. I wouldn’t impose anything on platform branding, like Katuma called it Katuma even if the software for now is called OFN.
So about platform vs other services your local entity will offer, everything is possible I would say.
I would say the local entities need to display they are “affiliate of the Open Food Network” in the sens that they offer a Saas platform of the OFN software, but also other things like support to establish new hubs, research projects, etc.
My 2cts is that Platform name would usually be the same as entity name as it is one of the core offer of the local entity so “commercially speaking” it wouldn’t be wise IMO to have to market two brands locally… and would get confusion in people mind.

Let’s take Katuma. Katuma offers access to the a business management tool for food hubs in Saas (the Katuma platform) but also offer other services. Tomorrow the Katuma platform might not be based on the OFN software, if we evolve the software or decide to also add some Odoo ERP modules in our Saas offer, etc. We don’t know how the software components of the platform will evolve, but Katuma will always be the business management Saas platform. Does it make sens?


#5

urgh. the thought makes my stomach turn. It seems that it would be way way easier to rename the ‘network’/people than the software