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?


Naming 2.0: The New Media Naming Storm

25 10 2007

2.0-tization of names is a barrier to adoption.

This is a bit of rant, but I had to get it off my chest. Everyday, I login to G-reader, click on my feed for technology news and I’m assaulted by 500 new companies with gibberish names. Most of them sound the same and with the glut of new 2.0 companies who can remember them all.

Well what about Google and Yahoo?

They came around in a far less crowded environment. In addition, Google is a media darling and Yahoo spent hundreds of millions on advertising.

Also, they are phonetic.

I’m in the process of developing a fashion based social shopping site and I know how hard it is to find a URL that isn’t being squatted on. But, honestly how many properties do we need that drop the E in -ER.  Now it may make perfect sense to people in the space and you can always pop into CrunchBase, but it is another case of developers naming for other developers.

Have some fun with the WEB 2.0 NAME GENERATOR.

Here’s what it spit out: