Despite the importance of decisions regarding international brand names, research on brand naming has focused primarily on English name creation. The authors conceptualize the local brand-name creation process in a multilingual international market. The authors present a framework that incorporates (1) a linguistic analysis of three translation methods—phonetic (i.e., by sound), semantic (i.e., by meaning), and phonosemantic (i.e., by sounds plus meaning)—and (2) a cognitive analysis focusing on the impact of primes and expectations on consumer name evaluations. Using dual English-and-Chinese brand names, the authors show that the effectiveness of the translation depends on the emphasis of the original English name (versus the Chinese name) and the method of translation used previously for brand names within the same category.
Reprinted with permission from the Journal of Marketing Research, published by the American Marketing Association.