I was in Oxford last weekend. I walked past an Opium Den.
Apparently, it’s a cafe, restaurant and a Karaoke bar.
If you’ve a basic knowledge about the Opium Wars between China and the British Empire, you know that the wars were humiliating, millions of lives were wrecked, and to China, unequal treaties (such as Treaty of Nanking) meant losing territories and dignity.
Therefore, why using Opium Den as a brand name? If you think the name “Opium Den” is funny, it’s not. This name is offensive. It’s in bad taste.
It triggered me to think about branding. When you decide to have a brand name, what’d be on your mind?
1) Customers: What type of customers are you trying to attract (or not to attract)?
(With an irritating name like Opium Den, are you likely to attract sensible customers who can read?)
2) Image: What business image would you like to be portrayed as?
3) Research: Would you honestly do some homework first before picking your brand name?
4) Distinction: Do you know the fine line between Humour and Bad Taste?