Lost in Translation: Corporate Branding

By Naseem Javed Founder, ABC Namebank International | May 19, 2010

Business names are being hit the hardest as the world becomes smaller and companies go global. Each one of us is now spinning in a mix of international alphabet soup of strange names and terminologies. You invent something new, send out a release, the media talks about it and, within seconds, it becomes an international item.Your business name image might end up as a great universal message or emulate some strange and confusing messages with insults or profanity. But why?

A Trunk Call to Britannia

Like it or not, from the Greeks to the Koreans or from the quiet Zen masters to the chanting Buddhists, all will try to figure out the meaning of your great message and the name of your new gizmo as you push for an international audience.

Thanks to several historical factors, including colonization, the largest global population is increasingly tied to a string of 26 alpha characters in English. Today, even in the oldest and remotest jungles, some form of English is spoken. Thank you Britannia, we are amused. For that and for many other reasons, English-based naming has been the norm for corporate business nomenclature because it always has provided some measure of sobriety and universal understanding.

It is true that the other half of the global populace is still non-English speakers, but the process of corporate naming can seriously risk the future of a company by picking an exotic non-English word as a corporate name to gain quick attention or to cure a lingering corporate image problem.

Emotional Break-Dance

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.