We knew we didn't want to use the name of our bankrupt predecessor, Norwell Subaru, because the store had a terrible reputation and we thought we would one day move to a larger facility, possibly in another town, which would have made for a weird situation....Visit Norwell Subaru in Hanover!
We also knew we didn't want to use our last name, Morrill. Even though
it's a nice homonym with "moral," we knew from a lifetime of getting
junk mail delivered to Molvill, Merrill, Morel, Morrell, etc., that people
would have a hard time spelling it.
So when we found out that the sale of the dealership was going through, we sat down with a thesaurus in my Dad's kitchen and brainstormed about how we could best communicate the values of the dealership. That list is lost to history, but it seems like some of the other finalists were "Good Guys Subaru" (to help differentiate us from the sharks), and "Boston Subaru" (to let everyone know we were pretty close to Boston.)
We were really struggling with it, but then John came up with Planet, which just sounded cool to us. It was big, fun, friendly, environmental, different...all the things we aspired to be.
As for our tag line, "your undealership," we pilfered it from then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor, Don Beyer. Jeff used to work at his Volvo dealership, Don Beyer Volvo, in Falls Church Virginia. In the 1980's, Don Beyer had conceived the "undealership" slogan as a way to differentiate his store from the typical dealership. He used the slogan for a few years and then abandoned it in favor of the "unique dealership." Jeff always loved the "undealership" tag line, so Planet Subaru adopted it and then trademarked it. Lieutenant Governor Beyer went on to become United States Ambassador to Switzerland and is now Member of the US Congress, and he is honored that we are still using his creation all these years later!