How can I solve the mispronunciation of my company name?
Say a company name has two words in one, i.e. "TradAnimatics". Series of mistakes are made by clients and bystanders mispronouncing the name like "TradeAnamatics". How can a company solve this problem without changing the name because than it affects the whole brand. Should they put a dash, star, etc. between the two words? Thanks in advance for any advice.
Take it from a guy who founded a company called Phacient (it seemed like a good idea at the time), the only way to overcome your problem is to just keep saying it over and over again. Eventually, those that you wish to influence will get it. If you can find a word that rhymes with your name it help . Here at Phacient, we are patient in this endeavor. :-)
In the UK there is a retail company: "Marks & Spencer" and for some reason people couldn't say it [easily] so it morphed into "Marks n' Sparks". Here in Malaysia "Malayan Banking Berhad" morphed into Maybank. I guess this answers the question :-)
IVRs of switch board and all employees' phone ring tones could (perhaps) reinforce the right pronounciation. Could be slow but surely a measurable optimal solution. Most probably you have implemented the same, may be done more creativily.
I tried to address this issue when I started my company, Pa-Plinka, by use of a hyphen in the name. Not having the hyphen made for too many possible mispronunciations, and using the hyphen makes things more interesting, especially when people see the name in print/online.
That said, I find many US English speakers stumble on the correct pronunciation of longer words and last names, therefore you might want to aim for a shorter name if you decide to alter the existing one (or possibly use a series of shorter words having fewer pronunciation issues).
I love the question. We're an ad agency and a significant portion of our work is branding. Our company carries our founder's surname, Tocquigny, and we joke with clients that one should never choose a name that people can't pronounce or spell.
On our website and business cards we include the pronunciation. "Tocquigny (TOH-KEY-KNEE) is a digitally-minded creative agency with a passion for transforming brands." We also tell people "Tocquigny - it rhymes with Martini" which they then always remember.
Changing names is difficult and expensive and something I usually view as a last resort. Look at font treatments in your logo.
This is right up my alley. My company is called Zklld. The pronunciation is "Skilled" so I run into this issue all the time. I have implemented a few strategies for that and I will share them with you.
1) In my emails I literally type in my signature Zklld (pronounced "skilled").
2) I tell them what my company is called and use the alphanumeric code that the military uses when spelling to ensure they know what the spelling is and also learn how it is said.
3) I tell them the reasoning behind why I named it what I did and why it is spelled the way it is.
All of this has been 100% effective in preventing prospects and clients from ever forgetting my true pronunciation of my company name and I have yet to find someone who forgets how it is said.
Hope this helps and let me know if you forgot what my company was called or how to say it correctly in a few weeks.. I am interested in knowing if it sticks with you.
My company name is Steelasophical ...boy do people have fun with that onel
Take a leaf out of the biggest brands, McD's KFC TSB HSBC BBC CBS
Keep the name, brand yourself with a company logo centred around the two most prominent letters TA or TA's
Sometimes people don't know where you are coming from when you are creating your tag line or brand. It makes sense to some but not all. You invested time and money creating your brand. So you either correct if you feel necessary or let it go and concentrate your efforts on building your company and it's brand.
You could use a phonetic pronunciation in parenthesis under your logo and/or name. Try to make it look part of the logo, intentional. Not just as an afterthought if you can. Hope this helps!
I think you should take advantage of the situation and create an ad campaign around the correct way to pronounce your mark - you want to get people talking about your brand name. You could also adopt the common mispronunciation as your mark and develop that.
I don't know if this helps, but I had an uncle who was a real live Madison Avenue 'Mad Man'. He was Polish and of course had a Polish last name. All his friends told him to change it to an Anglo last name, like Smith or Jones so he could fit in better and hot live with constant mispronunciations all the time. But he didn't, since he figured it would be a way for him to stand out from the competition. His rationale was clients would say they wanted the guy with the funny sounding last name, or once they got his last name down, they would never forget it and pick him over the Smiths and Joneses. He claimed it helped him land some pretty big accounts.
So maybe you could use this mispronunciation thing to your benefit and perhaps work it into your byline somehow.
Another suggestion is to add audio and videos to your advertisement that actually pronounces the name correctly. Adding a clever tagline or jingle that leads the clients to the right pronunciation is both memorable and a great marketing tool.
My father's last name is Girolami. Yes - it's pretty tough name to pronounce correctly the first time. When he met my mother for the first time and she asked him how to pronounce his name - he simply said, "Girolami - All of me - Girolami" They've been married 48 years.
Bayer, Nike, Porche, Ikea, Haagan Daz, Hermés, Givenchy and dozens more brands, particularly in fashion have names that are frequently mispronounced. The suggestions to change the name completely misses why these brands have not only stuck with these names, but in some cases actually chose them because they were hard to pronounce. It can give the brand distinction, a memorable mnemonic device and a rite of passage - those in the know will pronounce it correctly while others will show their brand ignorance by not knowing how to say it. Call it snobish if you like, but it works. It's a power-brand tactic best suited, but not exclusive to, premium products and services that want to be the next big thing while coming off as something of an exclusive club.
If you do simply want more people to pronounce it correctly, make a company video and post it on your website and in social media circles. Not only is this an opportunity to demonstrate the correct pronunciation, but a reason to call attention to it. You could also use your website and print to playfully show the phonetics like a dictionary...[ trad-anəˈmatik ]
With all the various people looking at your name, you may fund it mispronounced more times than you imaged. Don't change it.
The city of Bangor, Maine made a catchy tune and published it t help people remember the name. I've seen other companies make a graphic of their unique name with a pronunciation link.
Many cities have this problem as well: http://snip.ly/9N2L They still keep the names and either politely correct the person or ignore the mispronounce.
I agree with Brian and John: my business name is LiveYourLight, and the third word sounds like "Life" to people unfamiliar with my brand. I'm in the habit of spelling the entire name after I say it, but I would not change it — this defines who I am and the essence of my work, and took me a long time to select.
TradCartoons is intriguing — I want to know what it means! So yes, gently correct those who get it wrong, and use the opportunity to share why your company has such an unusual name. After that, it will stick.
I have to agree with others: You should consider finding a new name. It's hard to read and pronounce. If you said it verbally to me, I wouldn't be able to spell it so I could look it up. The combo of terms has no meaning to me. Now perhaps it has strong meaning to your customers, but it needs grab new prospects as well.
Many large companies seemingly get away with having difficult names without meaning, but they have a $10 million budget to promote it.
What I say is true of URLs also. If you have to spell your web address, it's a bad address. Better long than obscure.
I would not use a dash or any other character to separate the two words. If I'm right "Trad" is British for "Traditional" with origins in the music industry. I agree with Brian. If asked explain the origin of the name. It makes a nice story. A teachable moment. - PWD
A company name that is difficult to pronounce is also difficult to remember and to refer to others. No matter the "vibe" the owner try to convey the company name should be friendly to potential / existing customers' tongues. Using stars, dashes etc means that you admit that there is a problem so why not taking a drastic action to solve the problem?
Changing the name to a more catchy could also be an opportunity to engage new potential customers as well as re-engage existing customers.
I speak from experience when I say he just needs to smile and correct only when asked. (AlwaysInTao is pronounced Always In Dow) not a t sound...:)