An Edmonton clothing store is changing its name because it was receiving threats for coincidentally sharing the same name as the terrorist group ISIS.
Co-owners Wendy and Colleen Sims named Isis Clothing Co. after the Egyptian goddess of motherhood. It has no relation to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the extremist group that is responsible for violent attacks around the world.
However, after a barrage of threatening calls and emails, the small business is planning on changing the name it’s held for 10 years.
“Mostly men, a few women, have left nasty things on our voicemail. Every morning we come in and there’s a couple emails,” Colleen Sims told Metro News, adding that one man even came by the store to intimidate her.
Time to rebrand?
The Edmonton clothing shop isn’t alone in dropping “Isis” from its brand. Last year, a clothing store in Chicago had to change its name for the same reason.
“We’ve been in business for 48 years. We’ve used the name Isis for about 45… We changed it in December because we were being harassed,” employee Victoria Fuchs told Vice News.
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, there are more than 270 products, services or businesses named “Isis” in the U.S. In Alberta, a quick Google search turns up more than 10 businesses using the name, from dance companies to geomatics surveyors.
It can be a difficult decision for a company to rebrand based on associations that are outside of its control.
“[Companies] should understand what equity that name has with their customers before they make a decision,” Carolyn Ray, managing director of brand adviser Interbrand Canada, told the Globe and Mail.
Colleen Sims is putting serious thought into her store’s new name.
“We need something that will never come back on us,” she told Metro News.
Also on HuffPost: