Here’s our Marketing 101 lesson for today: Branding is everything. You can have the greatest product in the world or provide a very crucial service, but if you don’t name your venture properly, you’re putting yourself at a great disadvantage.

This was a lesson that The University of North Carolina’s N.C. Children’s Specialty Clinic should have taken to heart before they renamed the facility the “Krispy Kreme Challenge Children’s Specialty Clinic.” Apparently “The Fatty McGee Center to Fight Obesity” was already taken.

Now, the irony in naming a healthcare facility after something that’s decidedly unhealthy is pretty apparent. But the clinic has responded that its not naming itself after the Krispy Kreme Corporation, but the “Krispy Kreme Challenge.” Oh. Um. Thanks for clearing that one up.

What is the Krispy Kreme Challenge, you ask? Well, as you can witness in the video above, it is an annual fundraising event for the clinic during which participants scarf down 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the midst of a five-mile run, aiming to do so in an hour or less.

Now if this sounds sort of like hosting a cigarette-smoking contest for raising lung cancer awareness, that’s fair. But the clinic has pointed out that the annual event is incredibly successful—this year’s raised $200,000—and that the doughnut consumption portion is optional.

And let’s not forget about all the good that this facility does. Seriously, is there anything more noble than helping sick children?

So maybe the folks at the Krispy Kreme Challenge Specialty Clinic actually deserve a little credit. We’re clearly now much more aware of them and their mission than we were before. And if some eye-catching rebranding helps give sick kids a much better fighting shot, then maybe they are marketing geniuses after all.

[via Gawker]