Global Lingo Blog

What’s in a name? Everything!

When naming a company, product or feature you want to choose a name which will communicate your message and represent your brand well.

But it’s not only using the correct name which is important!

It is vital that you ensure your marketing as a whole portrays the meaning you intend.

Some of the world’s largest companies have made costly mistakes when trying this, through misrepresentation of their brand abroad or mistranslation of the brand name in other languages.

The process of creating a brand or new product is often lengthy, weighing in the look and sound of a new name and creating a marketing strategy around it.

What’s also essential is that the brand name you have chosen translates into other languages smoothly. Especially if you are launching that product oversees. It needs to fit with the local language and customs.

Parker Pen’s won’t make you pregnant

It’s surprising how many examples of indiscretions there are!

  • Kagome is major Japanese producer of fruit and vegetable foods. Though unfortunately in Portuguese, Kagome sounds like “I s*** myself”.
  • Bacardi introduced a fruity drink with the name ”Pavian” to demonstrate French chic, but it means “baboon” in German.
  • Gerber started selling baby food in Africa and used packaging with the cute baby on the label. Later they found out that in Africa companies routinely put pictures on the label of what’s inside since many people can’t read.
  • Clairol introduced a curling iron “Mist Stick” into Germany only to find out that mist is slang for manure. Manure stick!
  • Colgate launched a toothpaste called “Cue” in France, but it turned out to be the same name as a well-known porn magazine.
  • Parker Pen marketed their new quick pen with “won’t leak and embarrass you.” Though in Spanish that translated to it won’t make you pregnant.

Global brand check service

If you’re launching a new brand, then our Global Brand Checker service is just what you need.

Our linguists will take your brand name or concept idea and pass them to panels of linguists, along with a questionnaire supplied either by you or by us.

Our linguists will then check your collateral against that and provide a full report.

No faux pas in any language

It’s not just a case of linguists vetoing swear words and innuendo.

We take your current brand and all the marketing collateral, guidelines, fonts, copy, etc. You tell us which geographical markets you want to market your brand in, and we use our linguists to check if your current branding will work in those territories or if there needs to be some adaptation.

By using over 5,000 translators, interpreters, writers and editors worldwide, we understand all aspects of culture and language and can help steer your branding in the right direction.

 

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