Honestly, I don’t really understand this move whatsoever. … The group is based on Mike LeFevre’s name, status, history, etc., so is the expense of changing your name and having to create your identity again really honoring the name? I can understand wanting to honor the LeFevre name, but wouldn’t the name be more honored if it were to continue in gospel music instead of retiring it?”
Exactly. To bring this sort of thing into focus, wouldn’t this be rather comparable to the Gaither children “retiring” the Gaither name when B&G die? Royght.
Perhaps the thinking here was that LeFevre is a brand that appeals to a generation of people with names like Urias and Eva Mae, and not the kind of music and fans this current group wants to reach (though it seems unlikely that LePriority will ever appeal to an audience that isn’t disproportionately southern gospel and so predisposed to venerate a great name in southern gospel music like LeFevre). Or maybe there’s some internecine network of financial or familial alliances behind the group that wants to move in whatever direction it is that an abstract, unbrandable concept name like Priority takes you, and so cooked up this “honor the name by ditching it” business (at least that’s one way to read the line in the press release about this move coming “in response to a request by some LeFevre family members to discontinue the name when Eva Mae was no longer able to travel“). Who knows. To be sure, this is a “bold move,” as the group’s press release puts it, but then again, so was New Coke.
Update: a couple of readers have already emailed to say more or less the same thing: that this move doesn’t appear to have been within Mike LeFevre’s control, that he was essentially forced to stop using his own name. I take the point, and though I don’t know the particulars, I have no difficulty believing this (the general vibe coming off the group from the get-go was that LeFevre was not primarily the person calling the shots). But from a branding perspective, it’s still a bad move.
Later update: Several emails from people I trust pretty much confirm that Mike LeFevre himself had no choice or say in the matter … “due to some pettiness that existed elsewhere,” as one of my more diplomatic correspondents put it. So there you go.Email this Post