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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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.