Sunday, December 6, 2015

OMG – what if the millennials don't like the name St. Pete Pier.

St. Pete Pier. Not new, unique or clever and not very millennial at all.

St. Petersburg, FL
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want Blog.

The whole concept of Pier Park was touted as a place where one could walk, run, kayak, bike and enjoy nature. It is a Park on a Pier

With the recent disclosure that the name Pier Park was already trademarked; the City has marshaled all of its collective creativity and renamed the venue the St. Pete Pier.

You know the place famous for the inverted pyramid.

There was the Railroad Pier, the Electric Pier, the Million Dollar Pier and the Inverted Pyramid Pier all with some unique characteristic.

Now it's just the St. Pete Pier. What do you do on a Pier?


Maybe Mayor Kriseman had it right when he said, "Let's build the Damn Pier"

Damn Pier – has a nice ring to it.

Pier Park was kind of catchy. Was it a Pier or a Park? It was enough to make the online searcher at least drop one more click and maybe even enough to encourage the Beach tourist to take a trip downtown.

Some may see this as just a marketing problem and feel that spending a few more bucks on promotion will overcome any issues.

Maybe not.

The millennials are all about getting rid of the old and replacing it with the new.

The couch in my mom's house was over 20 years old. The sofa in my home is about seven years old and most of the millennials I know don't have a stick of furniture over 3 years old.

They want things new, shiny and with names that reflect the millennial era. Just look at the names of new cars, rental properties, bars, beers and startup businesses.

What if they decide they just don't like it and the visiting millennials can't figure it out or just decide to pass?

Could be a real problem.

Will the name change affect anything in the Pier Park/St. Pete Pier project?

Probably not.

The St. Pete Pier (AKA Pier Park) will still be a structure of questionable practicality with limited access and functionality, demanding a high taxpayer  subsidy to support and now maybe not nearly as appealing to its primary target customers and tourists.

Phooey you say. A pier is a Pier a park is a Park. What's the big deal in the name?

Google was originally called BackRub. Hot mama became EVEREVE and for you non millennials there was the Ford debacle called Edsel.

Names matter. A Pier is not a Park, and a Park is not a Pier. The name of St. Petersburg's $70 million dollar waterfront investment should reflect what it actually is.

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