Xiomeran-themed businesses rebrand in wake of tensions
In the Lauchenoirian city of Elopolis, the Tezite restaurant has been a long-popular destination for both locals and visitors seeking Xiomeran cuisine. But in the past year, the owner of the restaurant noticed a huge drop-off in business.
“Something was clearly wrong,” Xiucatle, the owner of Tezite, told DTNS. After hiring a local marketing firm to do research, Xiucatle discovered the root of the problem. “The negative reputation of the Xiomeran government, and Xiomera in general, was causing people to be turned off at the idea of coming here.” Xiucatle decided to do what he described as “the only change I could do” to survive. He rebranded Tezite as a Huenyan restaurant, changed the menu to offer a more diverse set of dishes, and made a formal statement disavowing the Xiomeran government and its actions.
“After we did that, business bounced right back to normal,” Xiucatle said. “In fact, we’re doing even better now than at this time last year.”
The experience of Tezite is just one sign of a trend. Xiomeran-themed businesses throughout the IDU, facing boycotts and other loss of business due to the growing tensions between Xiomera and other nations, have been quietly rebranding themselves as Huenyan. In Laeralsford, Chuantenang is a shop that, until recently, offered handmade goods and artisan foods from Xiomera. The owner of Chuantenang, Telchuali, had faced a similar drop-off of business as Tezite. “We really had no choice but to shift our product line and our focus,” Telchuali told DTNS. “For understandable reasons, a lot of people don’t want to do business with anything related to Xiomera right now. After we rebranded as a Huenyan-themed business and changed our product line to offer Huenyan goods, our business rebounded.”
The wave of rebranding has caused accusations by some Huenyan groups that businesses like Chuantenang are merely co-opting the Huenyan mantle to keep their businesses open. Telchuali said that such statements are unfair. “Xiomerans are Huenyans, so we are part of the Huenyan culture. And it’s not like I support the government – if I did, I would be living in Xiomera,” she said. Telchuali added that she donates 10% of her gross proceeds to nonprofits helping with Huenyan rebuilding.
This trend hasn’t been limited to small businesses, either. Back in 2019, the Xiomeran conglomerate Lohuā Licā Companies entered into a partnership with Dāvri Bakery Company of Eiria to jointly produce products for each market. In the wake of dueling sanctions between the two countries this year, that partnership was abruptly terminated. The joint partnership in Eiria is still producing products for Eirian consumption, but has rebranded the entire product line as Huenyan. They have also begun parterning with Huenyan companies to continue to produce goods. “Given the state of affairs between Xiomera and the rest of the world, this was not only the only thing we could do, it was the right one,” Tlolca, the head of the partnership, said. The joint group has been renamed the Huenyan Bakery Company, to further distance itself from its Xiomeran origins.
Being well aware of this trend, the Huenyan trade secretariat has formed a trade advocacy group to encourage Xiomeran-themed businesses abroad to “go Huenyan” to put pressure on the Xiomeran regime. “We provide businesses that want to rebrand themselves with assistance, and help connect them with Huenyan suppliers and businesses,” Trade Secretary Yaochtzin told DTNS. “Taking these steps helps to show solidarity with the Huenyan people as we rebuild and build our democracy. It also places further pressure on the XCP regime to change their actions. By branding themselves as Huenyan businesses, business owners can help that effort. And by only patronizing businesses that are clear in their pro-Huenyan and anti-XCP stance, consumers abroad can help make a difference.”
The Xiomeran government refused to comment for this story, other than issuing a brief statement from their own Ministry of Trade calling these efforts “discriminatory, racist and anti-Xiomeran.”