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Introducing Yonder: The Story Behind Our New Name

Jonathon Morgan

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Oct 23, 2019

As you may have heard, New Knowledge is now Yonder! We could not be more excited to share our expanded mission and name with the world. We also want to share a snapshot of the conversation we had as a team about our new name and what we hope to achieve in the world.

We can all agree that this is a reality. Something is wrong. Last year, we branded around this narrative. And, don’t get us wrong — it’s still relevant. But…

If you look closer, you can see what’s caused this. Organization and people finding their cliques. The internet has given rise to new opportunities for connecting with others who share one’s cares, views, tastes and passions. The internet is not ALL wrong - it’s an amazing place, too.

The tendency within these factions (small, hyper-passionate, hyperactive subcultures online that are bonded by their cultural commonalities) is to influence one another and others outside their network. The more they engage, the more radical their interests and beliefs often become.

Our original capabilities were built to help government entities better identify and understand these factions. We found that we could actually pinpoint purposefully manipulative factions and intent, including those associated with ISIS & Russia.

People are bonded by things they oppose or dislike, but also by things they love. Positive and negative responses from factions have equal potential for impact. Previously, we focused solely on negative attention. Since then, we’ve expanded our purview to create the needed familiarity with both adversaries and allies.

Articulating what we stand for requires that we know which of these groups to engage with and how. The internet has given us the luxury of making values-based decisions. Consequently, we are all under new pressure to be clear about what we stand for.

This is especially true for brands. Ensuring that values connect authentically with customers, and learning which factions of online culture are responding most strongly to those values, either in a positive or negative way, has become critical.

We add the necessary cultural context to online information. We map the ways that topics trend and narratives develop within social internet factions, determining what matters most and least, and then giving brands the confidence to act.

We track narratives as they unfold so that marketing and strategy teams don’t feel blindsided by developing topics of conversation online. We treat factions as a basis for consumer research, and we forecast trends, compile brand report cards, and define cultural context to provide the best possible tools for building audience empathy.

We believe that an authentic, contextualized online culture leads to a responsible and receptive global community and our mission is to give the online world the same amount of cultural context as the offline world.

Our original name, New Knowledge, no longer fits this expanded mission or our company culture. So, we chose a new name.

We chose a name that reflects our culture that’s joyful, optimistic, approachable, and most of all, authentic. Yonder alludes to all of the new opportunities we can guide our clients toward, speaks to adventurous businesses that are ready to embrace new customers, new narratives, and a changing landscape, and also represents the future, but not the unattainable, full of sprawling horizons and fresh discoveries.

Plus it’s fun to say, fun to hear, and fun to read.

Yonder is hiring and we hope you will consider joining us on this mission. Check out our current opportunities!

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