Dando

Choosing the name Dando

Choosing the Dando name was an easy process for the team, but Dando has a very deep and personal meaning for me.

The effort and energy that was involved in understanding who we are, what we do, our essence and defining our brand backbone was a very cathartic experience. It felt natural and like we were talking about an old friend. After having evolved the brand to this point, I guess it should feel very familiar. There is something strangely satisfying about having ‘all your wares laid bare’ and saying ‘yep this is us’.

We were using ‘Gus’ as a working name, I liked it. My son is Angus so it naturally felt comfortable but it was a little too close to home. What would his mates think in 10 years time when he is at school and his Dad ran this kick ass agency called Gus? It just didn’t quite feel like the right choice.

During our one and only brainstorming session for a name, one of the team suggested Dando.

Felt good.

Sounded good.

Looked good.

Done!

As simple as that.

There was not the need to test this, throw it around, sit on it for a while.

We Are Dando.

Maybe it felt so right because Dando has deep significance to me personally. I carry the name Dando, my son carries the name Dando.

My father’s adoptive mother, Mary Crough, or affectionately called Molly, her maiden name was Dando. Molly’s sister, Mother Winifred Dando was the Reverend Mother General of FCJ (Faithful Companions of Jesus). Molly’s brother Lou was the Parish Priest at St Ignatius in Richmond, Victoria.

It was Father Lou Dando, a mad, mad Collingwood supporter that took my father Kevin under his wing and supported and guided him through a very difficult adolescence.

In an orphanage until the age of five and being put up for adoption — in a time when children were in some sort of abundance and not everything ‘going his way’ — saw him left standing alone Sunday after Sunday while the other, younger kids were ‘selected’ for adoption.

Yet he had the neatest bed, the cleanest shoes, the biggest smile.

But to look at him, who would want him? Red hair; freckles. Nothing wrong with that, but a twisted leg that faced 60 degrees the wrong way wasn’t high on the list for prospective parents. Very few could fathom the toll this took on a young, energetic and sociable kid.

With this late start in life, and the continued stigma received from having a ‘gammy’ leg led to my father having little patience for stares, questions or fools, and his red-headed, short-stature, fiery-nature often got the better of him.

Father Lou knew that he needed guidance otherwise the road ahead was not a positive one.

So Dando. It feels right because many, many decades ago a person with that name nurtured and guided my father, a young confused boy into a loving, proud family man who, with his beautiful wife of 43 years Mary, raised four boys and now has two grandchildren.

Wow – that was cathartic in itself. But I’m supposed to tie all this back to digital, right?

We all liked Dando. It felt right. For the team that was enough, but for me it had much deeper significance.

It’s an honour bestowed on a man who I am convinced, if he had not taken my father under his wing, I would not be here. This amazing team would not be assembled, and we would not be creating amazing work for awesome brands.
Deep down I know, but that’s Dando. Our brand essence is about digging deeper and I feel that this story digs deeper into the Dando name.

The whole world is at infancy stage with this whole digital space. No one can predict where the next five or ten years will take us or what the landscape will look like.

We wanted a name that withstood the changes, challenges and evolution of an industry we all love.

Dando. It has the strength of history to do just that.

We would love you to drop into our offices, a few streets up from Dando Street in Richmond — a street named after George Alfred Dando, Councillor and JP and Molly’s Grandfather. He must have served his constituency well to have a street named after him. We’d like to carry on that tradition.