Zoo Advisors and The Tenby Group are now Canopy Strategic Partners. Read more →

August 15, 2022

Why Canopy?

Why Canopy? by David Walsh

By David Walsh

As I hope you have seen over the last couple of days, we’re excited to share the news that Zoo Advisors is now Canopy Strategic Partners. Here’s the official announcement. But many of you may be asking the real question – why would Zoo Advisors change their name? Why would a company that has spent the last decade creating what has become a recognized and respected brand in the zoo and aquarium profession abandon its name? Are they crazy?!

Great questions (except the crazy one…). Well, like everything we do, we put great thought into it. First and foremost, we knew that to grow and remain relevant, we need to continually evolve and adapt. We knew that for any business or organization to succeed, the status quo is not an option. Resting on your laurels is always a bad strategy. Ten years ago, we set out to build something that was lasting. Something that was bigger than just one person. To do that, we had to think bigger and bolder to create something that had an even greater reach.

Second, we knew our current name was unintentionally exclusionary, even for our many clients on the aquarium side of the profession. Plus, over the years, we had begun to take on many clients outside of zoos and aquariums including botanical gardens, nature centers, and conservation organizations. Several years ago, we launched a sister brand – The Tenby Group – to better respond to those clients. Yet it still didn’t feel right, and it was logistically challenging to have two different names…’which name should go on a LinkedIn profile?’

Thus kicked off a comprehensive rebranding process that started with many of the questions we ask our clients, like What’s your why?’ andWhere do you see yourself going in the next decade?’ And we didn’t just talk to ourselves, we reached out to clients for feedback. They agreed that a rebrand made sense. With all those answers in hand, we started to brainstorm possible names. ‘Should we use some version of Zoo Advisors or The Tenby Group?’ No, that wouldn’t capture where we wanted to go as an organization or have much meaning. Should we use some initials? ZAG, or WWW (Walsh, Winfield, and Wagner)? No, we’re more than just names or an acronym. How about a made up word? Conserva? Sounded too much like a drug. And naming is difficult – Who else is using it? Is a trademark available? What about the URL?

After much research, consternation, internal debate, and a long walk on a Florida beach, I knew the name Canopy Strategic Partners best represented who we are and where we want to go. A forest canopy is full of a diversity of life. It’s all connected. It’s about reaching new heights. It nurtures relationships and community. It sounds like us. It felt right.

Yet, change is hard…for everyone. Our team has been concerned and wondered, ‘Does this make us look like we’re stepping away from our long-time clients in the zoo and aquarium field?’ The answer is a resounding NO! In fact, we’re doubling down on our work within the industry, offering our long-time clients more search, more organizational assessment, and more DEAI strategy work. And this change, welcoming more diverse clients into our network, enables us to think bigger and broader and to bring those insights to you.

You have my word, we’ll continue doing what we do best – building community, championing leaders, and making change happen through transformative insights. Let’s talk about what’s next.

Canopy Strategic Partners. Growth Happens Here.

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