By: John Fallon—
The former Cintas building in downtown Muncie has a new name. The Board of Directors of Sustainable Muncie Corporation announced this week that the facility has been formally named GearBox: Muncie—A Maker Hub. The name was selected after a few weeks of discussion among the organization’s leaders, consultation with branding experts, research into naming trends among other maker spaces throughout the country and thinking about an appropriate connection with the local community. While those involved in the naming process were pleased with the result, all were even more eager to move forward toward securing tenants for the building and connecting to other major community initiatives.
John Fallon, the corporation’s Executive Director, pointed out that the name conjures up a clear mental image and appeals to millenials and younger people: “The name GearBox is consonant with the very nature of the building itself. It represents power and speed and aligns with the maker theme that under girds the facility. And it’s a little edgy in a manner popularized by technology-based startups in recent years. It’s unique and original. And now it’s ours.”
Scott Truex, Sustainable Muncie’s Director of Program Development was more philosophical in his perspective: “A gearbox (transmission) represents the controlled application of power. It provides speed and torque conversions from a power source to another device. GearBox is a focal point in the community for innovation and entrepreneurship. It represents the potential to transform ideas and collaborative efforts into powerful initiatives and developments. It also serves to link people across generations and disciplinary boundaries to share, collaborate, promote success and increase the value of relationships and connections. GearBox works to convert the energy of ideas, the power or problem-solving, the excitement of innovation and the grit of making into all manner and forms of entrepreneurship. It is the catalyst for a larger community cultural change toward innovation and entrepreneurship. GearBox is simultaneously the catalyst and centerpiece for this community’s transition to a place where entrepreneurship thrives.”
While the name is an important consideration, there are other elements to the overall branding of the initiative. According to Michael Wolfe, President of the Sustainable Muncie Board of Directors, all elements of branding need to connect in a way that is effective: “This name lends itself to easy logotypes, merchandising, facility design features and marketing collateral. The teeth of the gears can represent the guilds and other organizations that will either or both be housed in or otherwise connect to Cintas. While they all wouldn’t likely be housed in the building, they would meet there and establish relationships with individuals and groups that are housed there. The name, in addition to connecting people and organizations, suggests power, movement and speed.”
The leaders of Sustainable Muncie Corporation indicated that they are in the process of meeting with prospective tenants and representatives of organizations that are interested in collaboration. They also indicated that the organization has expanded its vision to include a constellation of live/work spaces in the community and the entrepreneurs that will occupy them, formal partnerships with the community’s anchor institutions, alliances with organizations that support the maker concept and its practitioners and makers themselves.
For additional information, contact:
John Fallon 734.740.9175
Scott Truex 317.696.6170
Michael Wolfe 765.215.1004