What’s in a name


Terena Bell
MultiLingual March 2017

When Kraft Foods International changed its name to Mondelez International, I doubt the first thing executives thought of was anatomy.  But say the company’s name to someone who speaks Russian, and that’s the reaction you’ll get. “It refers to certain parts of female anatomy best left unnamed,” says Kirill Soloviev, founder and CEO of Nimi....

Learning the company’s name is offensive or completely unpronounceable in a certain country helps expanding startups focus on other markets where marketing requires less change.

But the business effect of a name goes beyond which countries you should expand — or avoid expanding — into. After Kraft’s name change, Mondelez revenue fell three consecutive quarters for a 2.2% annual loss while its competitors saw a 4.12% annual gain. This amounted to a $9.5 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone.

A service like Nimi would have been well worth it to Mondelez. It takes two minutes to enter your company name and basic information into an online system such as Nimi’s. Response time varies from one day to one week based on the number of countries checked and how honed in the results are to your target demographic....