Why is Linguistic Screening Important?
As part of our service we will help you get a greater insight into something that you may have considered was so simple. Linguistic testing does not just make sure you’ve got a great name, but it provides valuable information and insight:
Improved Understanding of Connotation
There are countless examples of brand names that have not hit the global market for a number of reasons. Take, for example, the “Snob” brand. This popular Italian sweet treat is baked into the fabric of Italian confectionary lore, but when we dig deep into the connotation of the word “snob,” it brings out two different meanings:
Snob: a person who does not associate themselves with anybody beneath them in a social sense.
Snob: British slang for a booger.
Clearly, there are two different meanings and neither will help the Snob empire expand further afield. Linguistic screening is there to help you avoid potential embarrassment to your brand when you enter a new market.
If the Brand Name is Easy to Pronounce
Western businesses greatly overestimate how product names travel. Linguistics screening takes into account how a product name can be pronounced in its target language. Understanding how a product name sounds in your target market is critical when attempting to sell products in countries like China. The Chinese language has wildly different tones, and even the sounds chosen by the speaker can be framed as positive or negative, greatly affecting the meaning.
Its Cultural Impact
There can be powerful associations made with specific words in completely unrelated industries. It’s important for you to identify your product name and if it will have an impact on a country’s cultural connotations or your target market. For example, gender roles can differ from country to country — male-dominated countries, where the patriarch of the household makes all the product purchasing decisions can greatly skew your meaning if you are marketing to a female or a child.
The Potential to Cause Offense
If you have a product name that causes great offense, it will put up a major barrier to getting your products sold in that country, even if it is intended to be humorous. A brand like Sweden’s “Plopp” chocolate may raise a giggle with school children, but older generations may not take it too kindly, and you’ve immediately locked them out.