Today, we read a news story announcing the renaming of Arizona’s only private law school. Phoenix School of Law officially became Arizona Summit Law School.
That change was in the works for awhile, and it may have been the best-known secret in the state (or is that the worst-kept secret?). Despite that, you never really know what’s true until the big reveal, so it appears to be a fact.
Here’s a late October photo of the school’s entrance doors tweeted by Associate Professor Ilya Iussa:
Entrance at @phxlaw downtown Phoenix campus introduces school’s name change. Welcome Arizona Summit Law School. pic.twitter.com/PwsI7N7Odc
— Ilya Iussa (@IlyaIussa) October 28, 2013
Good luck on the school’s rebranding. Those marketing-and-mission efforts are complex affairs that may spring from many causes. But one of them, I’ve been told by many at the school, is that they were concerned that their name led to confusion with another private entity of higher learning—the University of Phoenix.
The law school knows better than I if that was true. But I’ve never heard anyone else say that. And I’ve got to say I tend to like the city name Phoenix, even as others flee from it.
One of the most striking absences of the city’s name is visible in our professional sports teams. The Diamondbacks, the Cardinals—even the soon-to-be-rebranded Coyotes—opt for “Arizona” rather than the evocative bird name.
But OK, people tend to run from what I think is one of the more memorable names in the country (nobody’s paying me for rebranding services). And yes, I’m from New York, where everything and their mother have the words “New York” in it, and confusion still does not reign. But besides selecting the general rather than the particular, this law school renaming also endangers a prime piece of real estate—a supercool Twitter handle.
In the ongoing battle for name recognition and short, smart Twitter names, the Phoenix School of Law had them all beat. I leave bigger questions to U.S. News & World Reports and the many other ranking agencies. But look at the names @ArizonaLaw and @ArizonaCollegeofLaw—character-sucking handles eating up 10 and 19 precious spaces, respectively. And then turn to the simple and concise @phxlaw. A six-character breath of fresh air. The school’s distinct three “pillars,” I always thought, could add a fourth—social media spunk.
When I sought that handle on Twitter this morning, though, I was told it didn’t exist. Tell me it won’t be a 22-character @ArizonaSummitLawSchool.
And though the old website (and its old logo of a bird in flight) is still up, it may not be for long. A new page—clearly still in development—is revealed via Google search.
The name of the game in strategy is to distinguish yourself, and the law school has always done that well. They’ve entered a new endeavor with a new name. I wish them great (continued) success.Follow @azatty