Tough Task of Creating a Brand Name That Is Recognised Worldwide

The Birmingham Post (England), September 5, 1998 | Go to article overview

Tough Task of Creating a Brand Name That Is Recognised Worldwide


Krapp toilet tissue may sell well in its home market in Sweden and Pschitt limonade may be popular in France, but these are just two of brands that don't exactly shift units in English-speaking markets.

The search for suitable product names is becoming an increasingly important, but difficult, task, as companies are driven by competition to expand globally, say industry experts.

"Finding the right name for an international brand is expensive, time-consuming and fraught with difficulty," says Ms Bridget Ruffell, a director of The Brand Naming Company, which specialises in creating brand names for clients.

"Apart from problems of nuance and pronunciation, all names have to be legally registered, which involves lengthy and costly searches to ensure that they are not already being used by another company."

Finding the right product name - and avoiding the wrong ones - is so important that The Brand Naming Company has created a "black museum" of products with names that make them virtually unsellable in English-speaking countries.

There's "Skum," a brand of sweets in Sweden, for instance, and "Nuclear," a clothes whitener in Spain.

The Brand Naming Company also cautioned about a Turkish biscuit called "Bum" and a Mexican beer called "Nude," although consumers in Ankara and Mexico City say they have never heard of those products.

Companies based in English-speaking countries that want to sell their products in non-English-speaking markets also have plenty of problems finding good product names. …

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