In the business world, driven by consumers, one would generally ensure they are taking all necessary steps to guarantee that they are meeting their consumers’ needs. The first important thing that comes to my mind in starting a business or opening a store is picking a consumer friendly name that stands out.

Rajesh Shah attempted to do just that for his clothing store. He picked a store name that was sure to stand out. However, I am not sure he got the consumer friendly part down just right.

Shah decided to name his store Hitler, with an image of the swastika dotting the “I”. In his defense, he claimed that he did not know who Adolf Hitler was and that Hitler was a nickname given to the grandfather of his store partner because "he was very strict". What about the swastika? Coincidence? Unlikely, however, the swastika is a symbol used in Ancient India and still to this day in Hinduism and other religions, mostly as a symbol of auspiciousness.

Obviously, this received some backlash from members of the tiny Jewish community of Ahmedabad, India.  He now asserts that he will change the stores name if people want to compensate him $2,700 for the money he has spent on the logo, the hoarding, the business cards, and the brand.

 Naming Store Hitler - Marketing Ploy?

I can’t help but wonder if this was simply a cry for attention and publicity. It sure seems like a clever marketing trick, as this story was covered by the News, globally. Even with all this backlash, he did one thing right: $2,700 in branding costs is zilch compared to the free PR he is receiving.

He said he would change the name if people compensate him for the money he has spent. I am unsure who he wants compensation from. There are no laws that allow us to recover for our ignorance and so-called “mistakes.”  In my opinion, he won’t recover the $2,700 to change the store name. Instead, he will be forced to change the name on his own account or go out of business.

Moral of the story: Always do research before picking your store/company name.

Should Shah be compensated $2,700 for Re-Branding Costs? Should he keep the store name it is now? What do you think?