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Monday, January 15, 2007

Straight Outta Barmbek #3: What not to name your business. Part 1

Thanks, but no thanks.
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Sometimes, I'll run into a friend or acquaintance somewhere and they'll say something like, "Hey I saw you walking around the other day. I don't think you saw me, though." More often than not, I didn't see them. Rarely is it because I'm actively avoiding them (though sometimes that is the case). Mostly it's because while I'm walking, I'm really only paying attention to a space roughly 4 feet in front of me, in an attempt to not trip over something in my path, or worse, step in dog poop. This naturally leads to things like running into the occasional (and unexpected) pole, but mostly it works out in my favor.

Another unfortunate (but less painful) side effect is that it sometimes takes awhile for me to catch some of the hidden gems in my neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, I was on my way to the bus and finally caught a glimpse of the name of the salon 'round the corner. I've walked by this place almost everyday for lord knows how long, but for the aforementioned reason, the name never really sank in.

And boy, oh boy...what and unfortunate name to call your haircutting business. It's quite possibly the most inappropriate name I've ever seen.

It's like if you called your knock-off Jimmy Buffet Mexican-themed restaurant, Diahrreaville.

Expecting the worst and hoping for the best is a good business plan, no doubt. However, I don't think it applies so well to naming practices. That's why hair places have names like SuperCuts or Fantastic Sam's or A Damn Good Haircut (though I think that last one went out of business in Noho). Anyway, it's all about inspiring hope in a potential customer...not driving them away. I think we can all agree on that.

I have a hard enough time even letting white people near my hair with a pair of scissors. It's less a racist thing, more a "Whitey don't know what to do with them curls"-thing. However, I can't even begin to wrap my mind around why anyone would want to go into a place whose name alludes to a form of Japanese ritual suicide.

For me, the name "Haar-a-kiri" can only mean one of two things:

1.) Your haircut will be so disgraceful that afterwards, you're better off disemboweling yourself than going out in public.


2.) It's the ULTIMATE customer guarantee, i.e. "If you get your hair did by us, we promise you'll look redonkulously fly...or else we'll disembowel ourselves."

Either way, it's a hell of a lot to put on the line. In a decision based on sheer "punniness" alone, I'd rather go to a place like Gute Koepfe...

'cause for reals, yo...who couldn't use some good head?

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