Your brand name is important to you. It’s something you feel both passionate and protective about.
You may have chosen it for personal reasons; it might be an amalgamation of names, places or information relevant either to you or the product or service you’re offering your potential clients.
If you intend to launch your brand elsewhere in the world, away from the culture and language that you’re familiar with, however, you need to consider any implications attached to its meaning.
It isn’t just your brand name that could have multiple meanings. Logos, colours, imagery and font all have the potential to undermine what you’re trying to achieve, costing you money and your chance of a first impression when launching in different regions.
The impact of a poor brand name will only be felt at the final part of the promotional launch when most of the expenditure has occurred.
No amount of spend will remove a connotation that hurts once your reputation is damaged.
Language is, of course, an obvious hurdle. The linguistics pertaining to each country can be a potential minefield when it comes to brand. For example, ‘kiss’ means ‘pee’ in Swedish and the word ‘air’ confusingly means ‘water’ in Indonesian. If your brand or tagline has the word ‘no’ in it, then you need to be aware that in some Slavic languages, ‘no’ can literally mean ‘yeah’.
Colours Are Key
Once past the initial hurdle of language, the colours you use could also challenge your message. Did you know for example that to some, black symbolises death and mourning; whilst elsewhere black is synonymous with being smart, formal and professional?
Cultural connotations can clash with your brand’s meaning, too. Showing the bottom of your foot is an insult in Arab countries. So, when a leading European sports brand released trainers with the colours of the UAE flag wrapped around not only the trainers but also the sole; how successful do you think the United Arab Emirates launch went? Needless to say, it was a costly mistake.