4 Tips for Naming to a Global Audience

At the onset of a name development initiative, you must consider every strategic component behind brand development, including historical trends, unmet needs, the competitive landscape, and many others. One of the most significant factors to consider is the regions in which your product or service will be marketed. This is important from a trademark prescreening as well as the commercialization perspective–here’s why.

1. Name to your markets

Once you’ve identified your markets, you should have professional namers located in each key geographic region generating name candidates for your product. For starters, these namers will contribute a critical regional perspective, ensuring that your name will appeal to your target audiences. They will apply naming techniques to pare letter strings that are easy to pronounce, are appealing, and convey the tone and feeling identified during the early stages of your branding process. They’ll also bring fresh and unique letter combinations to the table, resulting in a truly unique name that will differentiate your product from its competition.

2. Legal Due-Diligence

As important as the process for name generation is, a name is nothing if it can’t be trademarked in your target regions. Save yourself the trouble of searching for a backup name by ensuring your naming partner is putting each name through trademark prescreening. Paralegals or legal professionals with years of experience working with trademarks should conduct this prescreening and use trusted legal screening tools, such as Corsearch® or Saegis®. And since each trademark and patent office(e.g., USPTO [US] and EUIPO [EU]), has its own conventions and registered marks, you want to be sure that your trademark search is being conducted in the right databases.

Before you ask: yes, you could potentially have different brand names for different countries. However, you want to consider the commercialization complications of having multiple brand names before you employ this strategy. It can result in regional offices competing for resources and may cause consumer confusion across borders.

3. Superior Linguistics

Not all linguists are created equal. Look for keywords like native, professional, and on the ground. This review should include an assessment of direct and partial semantic translation, ease of pronunciation, negative connotations and associations, visual and phonetic similarity, cultural relevance, implications, slang references, and similarity to other regional products, brands, or services. Again, save yourself the trouble and heartache of gaining internal and/or external favorability on a name that might have a deal-breaking conflict.

4. Commercial Research

We could fill books with considerations for commercial research, but for a global perspective, make sure you’re using verified panel vendors, professional translators, and that you’re asking the right questions. Your naming agency should work with you and tailor your survey to your product.

In Summary

If you succeed in the above checkpoints, you will end up with data-driven results to launch a world-class brand in your target regions. Your name is the foundation of your brand, so investing the time to conduct the naming process the right way will result in a substantial advantage for future commercialization stages.