Monday, September 17, 2007

Who Knew Beans About Corporate Names?

I was proud of Michigan coffee franchise Beaners until I read they are changing their name.

Apparently, they are anticipating that Hispanics could be offended by the corporate name. I hadn't heard this derogatory characterization before, but it seems that this ethnic group has been stereotyped as enjoying a diet consisting mostly of beans, and thus they have been called "Beaners."

OK, but ya know, coffee is made from beans, and I thought it was a pretty natural name for a coffee shop. What next? Jumpin' Java in Grand Haven will bow to pressure from potentially offended Indonesians?

I dunno. Multiculturalism, sensitivity is certainly an important public relations concept, if we stress mutual relationship building as the core of our business. But there had been no complaints reported, and political correctness is given too much leeway at times. $1 million to change the name from Beaners to Biggby seems like the owners are seeing too much froth in the latte.

Watch for an association of big people to sue over the new name.

Meanwhile, I await the long overdue rebranding of Cracker Barrel. My white southern relatives are as hot as fried okra over that.

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