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Knot Springs Case Study

Using metaphor to find the perfect name.


Knot Springs is a pretty unique place. This urban oasis is a little bit gym, a little bit spa — but at its core, Knot Springs is a social club, with a loyal group of members centered around the human experience of sharing health, wellness and good times. While closed for Covid, the Knot Springs team took the hiatus as an opportunity to retool the brand and business model.

Part of the rebrand included a new approach to (and a new name for) their membership program. The trick was that while membership is inherently exclusive, they wanted to avoid any reference to hierarchy or elitism (think of “platinum” credit cards or “diamond level” airline rewards programs).

After bouncing around several options, Thread hit on the idea of calling members “Regulars,” after the term for a frequent, trusted patron of a bar, coffee shop or restaurant. It’s memorable but at the same time understated and easy to say out loud. To be known as a “regular” is a coveted thing, as it speaks to a carefully-tended relationship between client and staff. It’s about social rather than financial capital.

This may not be immediately recognizable as metaphorical naming, but there is metaphor at play here (metaphor is as simple as “this = that”). Being a member at our spa = pulling up a barstool at your favorite neighborhood haunt.

Thread also crafted non-hierarchical names for the three tiers of Regular: DaytimeAny-time and All-time.

“The best ideas are obvious in hindsight. Knot Springs needed a name for our Members that wasn’t, well, Members. We wanted something familiar, but not too clever. Warm, but not calculated. It was a challenge to come up with something that felt right on a lot of levels. It was a great collaborative experience working with Thread to find a solution.”

Benji Wagner, Chief Creative Officer, Knot Springs

Drumroll, please: Thread is now a Certified B Corp! We 🎉 are 🎉 stoked