What would you think if we changed the name of our magazine, Escarpment Views?
It’s not that we want to, after having dedicated the last five years to creating it and building the brand into a publication that people associate with high quality, go out of their way to pick up, pay money to subscribe to, and even pay for at a bookstore. Right from the start, we aimed to create a national-quality magazine focused on the whole Niagara Escarpment, from Niagara Falls onto Manitoulin Island, the most significant geographic area in Ontario. It appears that we have achieved this, for we may be perceived as a threat to other magazines with smaller visions.
Here’s the hypothetical situation, not naming any names. What would you think if a magazine with a smaller geographic reach objected to our use of the word “escarpment?” What if they took us to court over this? What if by some fluke of the judicial system, they won? What if there was a way to avoid this hassle, time and expense by changing our name?
When Mike & I started Escarpment Views, we did a name search and didn’t find anything to worry about. Even if there had been a small publication with a very long name that included the general geographic term in it, we wouldn’t have seen that as a problem. Who can claim exclusive right to general words like river, ocean, stream, lake, mountain, forest, desert etc? Why didn’t The Toronto Star take out the Toronto Sun when it started up? Didn’t The Star use “Toronto” first? And isn’t the sun actually a star? How come these media giants can co-exist in the exact same market without confusion by readers?
When we started publishing, Mike commented “If no one tries to take us out, that will be a bad sign.” It may be a compliment to our success and vision if sleeping media raise their heads and start squeaking.
So we’re considering a name change in order to stop any potential irritants, and to let us get back to our focus of leading the way in world-class magazine journalism that celebrates the wonders of the entire UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Niagara Escarpment.
I’m asking, what would you do? How would you change the name of Escarpment Views? If you had to. Hypothetically speaking.