It doesn’t mean much to us in Australia, but the lesson is still relevant. U.S. start-up Bodega launched yesterday to “internet outrage” (according to the LA Times) and obviously didn’t do the right market research before coming up with their brand.

According to one of the co-founders they did do some research:

“We did some homework — speaking to New Yorkers, branding people, and even running some survey work asking about the name and any potential offense it might cause. But it’s clear that we may not have been asking the right questions of the right people.”

So what’s the lesson?

I’d guess they must have known that the brand would cause some controversy and their innocent act is just that. An act. So perhaps they were planning on the outrage as a tactic to win free media coverage, hoping that the negative vibes will dissipate over time and they will be left with brand awareness. Or possibly they underestimated the negative reaction and didn’t plan a response. If I’d anticipated a possible backlash, I’d have been sure to have my response ready in the form of external brand advocates who could swing into action to provide the counter-narrative. Nice idea for a business though.