If compared marketing into a campaign, and a successful brand name will be a never falling flag. International brands are sold all over the worldwide, and have to step over a variety of cultural barriers, such as language differences, differences in consumption habits and religious differences. Therefore, translating international brands into Chinese should be in clever thinking.
As the culture of Western countries is quite similar, therefore the brand of one country is more easily accepted by other western countries. Chinese and Western culture differed greatly, if foreign brands desire breaking into Chinese market, they should carefully consider the importance of naming. The complexity of commodity economy and western brands’ translation exceeded the conception of linguistic and ascended to the cultural psychology and marketing re-positioning.
For instance, fast food giant “McDonald’s”, the English brand name is come from the master of the shop. Western peoples are accustomed to name their brands with their surname, such as “Edison”, “Walt Disney”, “Ford” Co, Ltd. But Chinese people commonly like to name our shop by using some happy, prosperous, lucky and fresh words, such as “Parkson”, “Sheraton”, “Gome”. McDonald is a small potato compared with Edison, whom is a great scientist in the world and inferior to Disney, which is the representative of “Cartoon World”. If simply translated “McDonald’s” into “麦克唐纳的店”, it sounds so ordinary and no one could remember the brand forever. But translated into “麦当劳”means a great success for the reason:
- Generally retained the original pronunciation;
- Reflect the nature of food store;
- Implicate the education value “laboring before eating wheat”;
- The translation style integrated “Chinese” and “Western” taste, sound pretty good.
I remembered last week a toy customer send an English brand name “Zolo” to CS office and wish us to think a Chinese name for registration. Such brand name should bear with children’s simplicity and easy to remember. The power of Brain storming is really astonishing, everyone joined in such brand Chinese naming and many funny and meaningful names were provided by us. For me, I like “逐鹿”“捉乐”,because children The nature of children was having fun, toy brings them such kind of relaxation and happiness. In customer’s category, there is a deer, and also in the brand “Lo” has the similar pronunciation “鹿“ in Chinese. “Chasing Deer” is should be a kind of relaxation activity to children. As for the another Chinese name “捉乐”, actually I pondered from 2 aspects. 1st, “Zo” in the English Brand had the similar pronunciation “捉”—means “catching or holding”; “Lo” similar to “乐”, combined together, the pronunciation was quite equal and expressed children’s feeling in their childhood “Catching the fun and retaining the fun”. Finally we got information from PM that customer would like to use “创乐”for this “Zolo” brand, considered from their standpoint, they deemed toys could create more fun and joy to children which represent the essence of their product. And this Chinese Name was also quite good.
A good translation of brands could generate a multiplier effect, just like a proverb in Chinese “Well begun is a half done”. From the long run, such readability and meaningful brand will create a win-win situation to the Company and products.