It wasn’t long after we launched ChangeAView that doubts appeared about the name, which in time became deeper concerns, setting us on the path to Ceasefire — a name that does a much better job of conveying our mission against the vitriolic, polarized discourse we see off- and online
Changing our name at this stage might seem risky. Aside from starting over with brand-building, it’s unfortunate that our intro video — narrated by Stephen Fry — is now outdated. But this is a calculated risk; I’m hopeful that the more fitting and effective message of ‘Ceasefire’ will outperform any background work ‘ChangeAView’ was doing.
Sitting in a pub with Mike Wendling and Jonathan Griffin from the BBC, with our conversation being recorded for radio and an article, a woman near us asked what we were talking about. Mike’s answer included “ChangeAView”, to which she replied, “of me?”
I don’t think I had even realized Change of You was a possible mishearing until that point, but I was aware of a more concerning one due to how similar it is: Change of View.
This is obviously not ideal from a branding perspective. Word of mouth is important; a name shouldn’t be misheard in a pub. But we might have just persisted if it wasn’t for the bigger problem, captured by someone explaining why they don’t post: “I’m not sure I have specific views that need changing at the moment”.
Our aim is to be a place that fosters inclusive and productive dialogue, where people can learn about the world’s perspectives and share their own insight. Changed views naturally occur from this, which we continue to welcome with our delta system. But focusing the name on one possible outcome incorrectly suggested it’s the only reason for posting and that any other result is a failure. Not to mention the wide interpretations of what ‘change’ actually means.
I chose the name assuming this project would be more connected to the preceding subreddit (r/changemyview) than turned out to be the case. I was wrong to think the subtle name difference would be helpful, particularly as the two places continue to functionally diverge.
It was clear we needed to rebrand.
Initial brainstorming yielded not much more than ‘Viewniverse’. We tabled the effort.
In December/January, realizing we should develop a mobile app (which will be launched this month), the timing was perfect to try again. So, we had another brainstorm, invited ideas from the community, and settled on two that we put to a public vote. The response ranged from lukewarm to negative.
Stuck, I looked for help online and found a fantastic naming guide by an agency called Igor. Following some conversations with its co-founder Steve Manning, we decided to hire Igor, and ‘Ceasefire’ emerged from the process as a clear winner.
‘Ceasefire’ gets to the heart of what we’re all about. In a polarized world, bitter personal attacks and tribal point-scoring feel like the norm. We want to change this. But the alternative need not be a clinical transaction, nor is unanimity the goal. We host a spirited exchange of ideas, without destructive insults, in which to challenge each other is a rewarding experience. We’d love for you to give it a try.
~ Kal Turnbull, Co-Founder