When Expanding Your Business Internationally, Check Its Pronunciation!
Recently we did a blog about a bad name choice for a business, the People’s United Bank and how it sounded like a communist farming community, well…. We have a new winner or loser as it may be.
I’m not sure what it is with the banks lately but here is another bank that has one of the worst names for a business we’ve seen in a while Rabobank. Really Rabobank?!?! Did anyone sound this out?
For those of you who might not be seeing it, it sounds like “Rob” “O” “Bank.” It sounds like something Clyde would say to Bonny, when she asked him what he wants to do after dinner, “I don’t know rob o’ bank?”
No one wants the word “rob” anywhere near their money or their bank. The name really doesn’t’ fill you with the confidence you want when you’re trusting people with your life savings. That’s like asking “Rickety Shipping Co” to send your porcelain collection around the world.
Now even the logo reminds me of a main wearing a ski mask running out of the door!
Looking up the bank, according to Wikipedia, the company is based out of the Netherlands and I guess that would be the reasoning for the bad name, they didn’t sound it out in English and that’s exactly the point of this blog.
If you’re expanding into another country or even to another region find a local speaker to look at your name. Rabobank is a huge company and there is NO excuse that they didn’t have someone look at their name before they entered the US market, or English for that matter.
If you find that your name means something bad or can be pronounced in a way at was really negative you are going to have to go with another name. There is no reason Rabobank couldn’t have a different name here in the US. Look at Tesco the large food chain in the UK opened here in the US as Fresh and Easy there is no reason they couldn’t do the same.
Lesson of this blog, check what your name may mean when you’re expanding into a foreign country.
Does anyone else have any great examples of international naming failure? Please we’d love to hear it if you post it below.
Also please let us know if you are interested in any of the above available business names for the home repair industry. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us and be sure to see our Business Tips and Business Traps to avoid on our main page.