November 11, 2006
Brand Naming: The Taj Comes to Boston; RIP Ritz-Carlton
No other significant changes are planned for the hotel, but this name change brings into relief the pros and cons of renaming a legendary brand that has deep associations with one place. Chuck Dennis at Customer View thinks renaming the legendary hotel is a bad idea, saying that it "makes about as much sense as poking yourself in the eye with a pointed stick."
On the other hand, Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces have a tremendous reputation as one of Asia’s largest hotel groups and is owned by the Tata Group, India’s largest industrial conglomerate. Most Americans do not know much about the Tata Group, but everyone in India, China and Europe does. The company, which was founded in 1868 and employs over 200,000 people worldwide, wants to ride the crest of the "third wave of globalization."
Under the Tata wing, the Ritz-Carlton has, in one sense, been kicked into the stratosphere of brand names after being owned by the New York based Millennium Group for the past seven years.
The ChaiTeaLatte blog suggests that there will be lots of jokes out now about "Boston Brahmins," but this acquisition does show us, once again, that when it comes to naming global brands, nostalgia just doesn’t factor in.
The Ritz-Carlton has a grand name and history but neither of these pay the bills. The Taj name is known worldwide and brings the grand olde hotel into the twenty-first century with flash and style. I’m checking in.
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