Our main change this year has been our identity. Where we used to be known and relatively well established as FreeCraft, We're now known as Frenily. But why? Why Frenily, and why a new name in the first place?
Why change our name?
There were a couple reasons for us to conclude that it might be a good idea to change our name. For one, we found that maybe the name FreeCraft did not represent our identity and values that well anymore. Even in spite that we've obviously put in a lot of effort into making it a solid brand, driven by a friendly community. Additionally, it locked us as a brand into Minecraft related activities, where we'd want to be more free in the future to also look into other activities. Finally, our domain name was quite long and we're having some pretty solid ideas about using subdomains for an upcoming project - stay tuned for that! While these were pretty solid points in favour of changing our name, we've obviously also tallied up the points against changing it. The main of which being that we've got an established brand - changing this might see us lose some people that aren't keeping track. We've also considered the potential nostalgic aspects. A lot of people have been able to make a lot of memories which will be associated with FreeCraft. We found that if we keep our old FreeCraft domain and point it to the new domain, we wouldn't necessarily lose the people that come searching for FreeCraft. The nostalgia we sadly wouldn't be able to do too much about, especially since we were already considering to somehow reincorporate the old FreeCraft name in the survival world.
Out with FreeCraft, what then?
So, we'd decided that a new name would be beneficial, the next big challenge was to choose the new name. And as much as Frenily is baked into our minds already, the route to get there was pretty long winded. First, we had to define some requirements. In short, we'd want a shorter domain name, we'd want it to be a modern, yet timeless name and finally it had to fit our values and vision. The latter meant it had to represent a friendly community, high standards in regards to the server management, inclusivity and all round a good atmosphere. With this in mind, we set off thinking. We got a few small ideas, but none were really it so far. We called in a staff meeting to get some more ideas rolling. The first name that stuck by a little bit was Felloship. The play on the word Fellowship, simply meaning a friendly association, seemed like a good one and we could imagine some logos too. I personally wasn't too sure on it yet to commit to it. We looked at some combinations with the word union, like Continental Union, The Plant Union, and continuing from there The World Union, The Plant Place and The Plant World. While these names were definitely no longer related to Minecraft, they weren't shorter - in fact they were substantially longer then FreeCraft or the freecraftserver.com domain. Additionally, some members of staff pointed out that they did not necessarily relate the word union to friendships and togetherness.
Names, names and more names...
Our next trail of thought went by the part Uni. The Latin word for one does allow for some nice combinations, especially on emphasising the single tight knit community. Names like Uniwe, Weuni, Usity and Unity were suggested, but yet again they did not really flow that well. To stop our minds from drawing a blank, we thought of words that we could play with, like Friendship, Reality, World, Play, Affinity and Universe. The latter lead to Plantiverse. This one was relatively well regarded, the main issue was that domains for this name were not really available, especially without appending words like -server to the end of it. We looked at using numbers as well, like 1unity4all and 1world. Hm, maybe not. Commverse was also suggested but it'd sound too much like the popular brand of footwear. We went to Dongverse to One Planet to Uniplant and Uniplantverse - shortened to Universe. This just took us on a loop. How about Noodleverse? Noodles have always been a big talking point throughout all eras of FreeCraft. While this was most certainly disconnected from Minecraft, it was also disconnected from all other requirements, like a shorter domain name and a representation of our values. We came back to review Plantverse or Plantiverse. Then came the realisation that Plantverse.com was held hostage by a scammy domain broker who wanted almost $53.000 USD for it.
How about Frenity?
Two more words were added to our mood board of inspiration. Haven and Sanctuary. This lead to Freehaven and Planthaven. Still was not convincing enough to commit. A whole 5 days later, I came up with Frenity. The combination of free, friends and unity was quite appealing. Unfortunately, we saw the same scammy practices happening when looking to register frenity.com as we did for Plantverse. Finally, Colin came with the break through: Frenily. All domains were available for it, the friendly value was nicely incorporated and as Kaela noticed we had the combination of fren and ily, which seem like pretty commonly used phrases. Our only concern was that this would possibly lead to it being mistaken for a dating platform. Our logo would have to be designed in such a way that it could not cause any confusion. In a matter of a couple hours after Frenity was suggested, we had our new name!
What makes an identity complete?
The logo! While we hadn't spent close to half a month fretting over a logo, like we had with the name, it was still a time consuming process - but we want to show you some of the concepts that we came up with. This will be for another week in a future update.
We had quite a long way to get to our final new name of Frenily - but it ticks all our boxes, it's modern and contemporary, we've found the frenily.com domain name without paying some scammy practises too much money, and it really does represent our values and identity well. We hope you like it as much as we do. Which one of these names that we skipped over was your favourite and why? Let us know in the comments below!