GLOBAL BRANDING & NAME EVALUATION Created by Talia Baruch Localization Strategist | Copywriter Founder of Copyous Leading localization | Crafting content www.copyous.com
What is Global Branding?• In branding, a name means business. We don’t just brand a name; we brand an experience and an image with that name, to make it reel in & stand out.• A global brand is perceived to reflect the same set of values around the world.• Character communication is a key element of branding and the backbone of a global branding strategy.• A McDonald or Starbucks commercial from the US, Germany, Brazil or Japan is readily recognized as representing an American McDonald or Starbucks, even though the products are produced locally.• Every company wants its brand to get bigger. The tricky part is balancing what the brand is with a vision of what it would like to be.
What is Name Evaluation?• Just as a child can be burdened with a horrible name, so too can a product suffer under poor judgment in naming.• A localized product should have a name free from negative associations and a name that can easily be pronounced in the target market.• In the pharmaceutical industry naming a product is literally a matter of life and death. According to the FDA, 13 percent of medication errors stem from name confusion.• Name Evaluators generally develop a "name safe" test to make sure that an anti-depressive does not sound too similar to a strong tranquilizer, or that the name does not get lost in the doctors handwriting.
The process of name evaluation• A client will suggest a list of potential names for their product.• Global branding team will send a survey to 3 independent in-country linguists for feedback.• The survey will include a battery of questions regarding each proposed name, e.g.: Is the name easy to pronounce/to spell; Does the name trigger any negative/positive/neutral association?• Linguists will provide examples to strengthen their argument and will propose an alternative name that is as close as possible to the client’s pick, but that does not convey a negative connotation.• Finally an analysis is compiled assessing the potential strengths and weaknesses of each name.• The result is an all-inclusive report catered for the client’s languages or dialects. This report explores all of the possible advantages and disadvantages for every brand name candidate.
Landmines in choosing a brand namePronunciation issues: When Coca-Cola decided to launch itself in China, it faced the problem that written language is not phonetic in Mandarin. The company finally chose a sequence of characters that would sound similar to Coca-Cola when pronounced and mean "to allow the mouth to rejoice." However, when read, These characters could mean "bite the wax tadpole" in Mandarin.Negative connotation: Security door lock: Company launched this product into 14 langs. with the name Oness. Its sound, visual and connotation worked perfectly in all 13 markets. However, they had to drop it, because in Israel Oness means “rape.”This lady is called for: Corona, the Mexican beer producer, had to negotiate in different countries to secure its name, which means crown in Spanish. Corona eventually adapted its name to Coronita in Spain, as a compromise.
Landmines in choosing a brand name Nul Naming for Knol KnolMany bloggers do not react well to the 2007-launched Knol by Google.Knol stands for a "unit of knowledge" and is a "knowledge-sharing service," which is very close in nature to Wikipedia.Some feel that the name sounds “like a planet from a sci-fi novel."Others feel that knol sounds too much like "nul" as in "nothing."Google does many things right. But perhaps not this time.
Landmines in choosing a brand name Dim name for a bright ideaThere are times when a name can fit all your criteria and still be the wrong name for the product or service. Dimdim, a free web meeting tool aiming to compete with the likes of LiveMeeting, WebEx and GoToMeeting, is a prime example.According to founder D.D. Ganguly, the company sat down with 18,000 domain names and set 5 simple rules:1. The dotcom domain name must be available2. The name must have high recall3. The name must be international4. The sound of the name must translate without ambiguity to its spelling5. The spelling must translate unambiguously to its pronunciation Five hours later they named the company Dimdim.
Landmines in choosing a brand name Dim name for a bright idea• Like Wii, Dimdim is a name thats just asking to be made fun of. And the Wii, at least, is for gamers. Dimdim is a business service. Wii also has Nintendos marketing budget behind it.• Of course, lots of Web 2.0 products have silly names, and that doesnt stop them from succeeding. But Flickr, Twitter and Jaiku all have names that relate to what their service does. Even ooVoo, which scores very high on the silliness scale, looks like "you view."
Landmines in choosing a brand name Meet Salma—your reformed BarbieBarbies revealing clothing is not appropriate for the 1.6 billion Muslim population worldwide.An Indonesian designer has come up with an alternative doll named Salma, which is a Barbie look-alike dressed up in traditional Muslim clothing. The name Salma is a derivation of the word salamah, meaning “peace. “Indonesia is the largest Muslim country, thus making it a good starting point for the new toy. The similarity between Salma and Barbie is so striking that its unclear whether its an authentic Barbie.Regardless, the Salma doll is marketed as a "Muslim Barbie," which is a trademark violation, unless Mattel doesnt protect their mark.
Success stories of fine brand names in the global marketplace• Google resorted to re-brand its search engine “Gu Ge” in China, because it is difficult to pronounce “google” in Mandarine.• Google registered the “Gu Ge” brand name in China only 7 days before another company, Gu Ge Technology, did.• Gu Ge Technology tried to sue Google over ownership of the brand name, but lost to Google.
Success stories of fine brand names in the global marketplaceMazda has just announced its latest concept car, the gorgeous Taiki. Taiki means "atmosphere. " Entirely fitting for a car with sweeping lines, an all-glass canopy, and appropriate to the Nagare ("flow") concept car from which it evolved. The name Taiki also sounds like "tai chi," which epitomizes graceful, flowing motion.Not only that, it has a branded engine called Renesis (which sounds like genesis and involves technology taken from jet propulsion).The car has so much going for it in the naming department that its a pity its only a concept car and not available for purchase.
New trends in branding globally: Change your spelling habitsHyatt chose a name meaning "personal style" for its new chain of "unpretentious, eco- friendly" hotels—and may be starting a new trend in alternative spelling by rendering Andaz as ANdAZ." Thats right: instead of mid-word capitals, a trend were all familiar with, theres a mid-word lower-case letter.What, one wonders, looking at "ANdAZ," are "AN" and "AZ" and how does the "d" connect them? Is this one word or two?The Red Hot Curry blog points out that the Andaz name reverses another trend: whereas once Indian hotel owners used classic English names, now an Anglo chain believes an Indian name will attract the right clientele. Andaz is Hindi (Nastaliq script) for "personal style."
New trends in branding globally:Brand Naming Can Tattoo You • Tattoos is another trendy way get a brand naming under peoples skin. Companies are not only incorporating tattoo art into their brand names, but also creating brands that are designed to appeal to people with tattoos. • The convenience store chain 7-Eleven has a new energy drink called Inked, which is aimed at people who either have tattoos or those who want to think of themselves as the tattoo type. • Dunlop has offered free tires for years to anyone who will get their Flying D tattooed to their body. • General Mills is selling fruit roll-ups that allow kids to create "temporary tongue tattoos." • Christian Dior, Tag Heur, Aussiebum, Bling, Benefit Cosmetics are all looking into creating “tattoo logos" in India, because tattoos are a big part of Indian culture.
Why should localization companiesprovide global branding/nameevaluation services?• One stop shop. A company localizing their SW, Web, Marketing content will also need consultation on localizing their product name to secure strong adaptation to local markets.• People often come to a brand naming company after they try to generate it internally and fail.