Branding and Naming: Critical Mistakes
Avoid Naming “Moo”stakes
Your Brand is Worth the Small Investment
Professional language agencies can screen groups of proposed names for all destination countries, evaluating, for example, whether:
The same principle holds for logos, colors, images and product descriptions; what speaks to one people may speak very differently or not at all to another. For example, a “tampon” is a “pad” in French but that’s not quite the best way to describe the absorbent pads under pre-packaged chickens.
It is also important to evaluate your selected company, brand and product names or your logo in other dialect markets of the same language such as:
English is no exception: an eraser in the US is a rubber in Britain, a fag in Britain is a cigarette in the US, and a robot in both countries is a traffic light in South Africa. If your company name incorporates those products, you could encounter “a spot of bother” abroad.
Chinese poses its own unique issues. Since the written characters are not phonetic, they can be pronounced in hundreds of different ways, called dialects. The most commonly evaluated dialects for business are Mandarin and Cantonese. And since Mandarin is the official dialect of both China and Taiwan, names and logos should be evaluated for both countries since each has developed its own culture and writes characters differently. Please contact us to learn other considerations in rendering foreign names in China.
To avoid embarrassment and marketing problems, before you launch any name or logo abroad – even in other English-speaking countries – ask your language agency to evaluate each. This is particularly true in Chinese where one must consider the meaning of the name’s characters as well as their sound in various key dialects.
For this minor investment, you become armed with essential knowledge allowing you to decide whether to retain, change or modify your name — or logo — in other countries. It is also a minor price for this major security and peace of mind. After all, what is your name and image worth?