Google’s Biggest Hurdle to World Domination

13 12 2007

Goo – what? Chinese can’t pronounce Google.

Interesting article here from Bloomberg that explores a huge problem that Google faces in China. People can’t pronounce the now ubiquitous verb.

In the annals of advertising history we have a number of comedic stories such as the latin Nova launch fiasco, and the debatable Gerbers selling ground babies in Africa tale. These were always cute stories, used to get a chuckle from intro level marketing students, but it is indeed a difficult issue that global brands need to contend with.

Web companies names like Yahoo! were hailed as perfect for international expansion as they were very phonetic and didn’t have clearly defined meanings.  As internet penetration in China increases rapidly, entrepreneurs and conglomerates alike need to start rethinking their naming processes. China also appears to a be unique as for some reason many 2.0 names roll off the tongue in a cutesy way in Japanese.

Can any readers weigh in on other languages?

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