What Do You Do When World News Collides With Your Business?

By | February 10, 2015

When entrepreneurs are going to open a business much thought will typically go into the name of the establishment, service or product!

After all, what a business is called is going to be the brand name by which it is known locally or perhaps even globally.

The same holds true for an established brand that is going to be rolling out a new product.

In a perfect world the name will be well thought-out not only to be memorable but to also serve as a hook that people will associate in a good way with that company, a specific product or some proprietary service (i.e. avoid the name Edsel).

The name will hopefully also conjure-up feelings of trust and approval when people hear it whether for the first-time or the tenth time.

But what happens to a business when, for reasons beyond its control, the brand name becomes associated with someone or something that is disturbing, bad or even beyond bad?

Does the business react or assume that the good will and reputation it has established over time will be enough to transcend an event or news story that it can do nothing about?

Here is an example of such a name that couldn’t have been any worse given the nature of the product and the fact that its counterpart shows up daily in the news in an horrific way.

For the company in question, Ann Summers, has a name change from lingerie called ISIS ever been the basis for a discussion?

Yes it has…

“We acknowledge the unfortunate timing of this product launch in our store windows, however we in no way support or condone any act of terrorism or violence. We apologize for any offense caused.”

A source told the Independent that it was “too late to change” the name, adding: “We thought up the name over six months ago.” (Source)

branding,business,crisis management

In a similar circumstance, what would your business do?


Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

And, for anyone either buying a property or refinancing, remember that although your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider you always have the right to choose your own (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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