In marketing, deciding product’s name is the first big step to letting the world know why it needs that particular item. Unfortunately, the language barrier sometimes presents its own obstacles and sends an unintended message to the rest of the world. Consider some of the following products, whose names do not lend themselves well to English consumers.
Poo Poo Smoothies
China’s Burger King franchises unveiled a new mango-flavored smoothie. Its flavor was well received, but the name caused more than a little hesitation among the English-speaking market.
When a company in Ghana chose to call its new soda “Very Good Soda,” it did so in local dialect, which unfortunately meant something completely different in English.
Barf Laundry Detergent
In Iran the word for the white, fluffy stuff that falls from the sky when it is cold is barf. That sounded to native speakers as a great name for a laundry detergent. English speakers had a little harder time being convinced they should wash their clothes in the stuff.
The Polish manufacturers of a new candy bar wanted purchasers to know how fortunate they were to have their product, so they named it “Lucky Bar.” In English, lucky is the last thing anyone associates with the word.
Only Puke(et) Chips
The makers of Pukeet Chips had everything going for them except the design. The name means “Honey Bean Chips,” but the package designer inexplicably obscured the last two letters of pukeet.
Pocari Sweat Sports Drink
The makers of the Japanese sports drink wanted to suggest that their product was a good beverage to drink after working out. Unfortunately, the name suggests the consumer would be drinking sweat, rather than replenishing it.