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Negative Connotation In The Brand Naming Process

What Is Negative Connotation In The Brand Naming Process?

When a brand name generates negative meanings, impressions when it is translated or introduced into another language or another country, known as negative connotation in the brand naming process. Having negative connotations in a brand name is very risky for a company in achieving its goals. That is why, not having negative connotations in a brand name is one of the universal brand name qualities. And also not having a negative connotation makes your brand name “universal”!!!

How Does Avoiding Negative Connotations Make Your Brand Name Universal?

A brand name is for anyone in the world. It should have the ability to communicate with any human being in the world positively. This makes a brand name universal. Each and every brand name has their own brand story. To share that brand story with the world the brand name needs to have a positive meaning. In making a universal brand name, avoiding negative connotations is crucial. Brand names such as google, tesla, visa, BMW are universally known, with no negative connotations. In this article you can learn more about getting a universal brand name.

The meaning of the brand name is a very important turning point to your business even though people do not think much about it. Each and every word carries a feeling and that’s why worm and warm generate whole different feelings. The same goes for your brand name.

Giving the customer a meaningful and memorable experience through your brand name is very important!!!

How to create a universal brand name?

Here are the facts you need to know about creating a universal brand name.

  1. Avoid negative connotations – This is the very first thing you need to consider creating a universal brand name. Make sure that your brand name does not generate any negative impression in any language. In brand naming, the meaning matters the most. 
  2. Shortness- apart from avoiding negative connotations in your brand name, the character count is also effective when selecting a universal brand name. Why? Short brand names are so easy to memorize for anyone. Which makes it easier to promote and market your brand name in other countries also. If you can limit the character count from 4 to 6 you got the perfect character count for your brand name. 
  3.  Uniqueness-  if you study the top brand names in the world, most of them are unique, distinctive. They are very different from other competitors in the market. Unique brand names are catchy and generate a fresh vibe.
  4. Domain extension- this is also a top feature you should consider when selecting a universal brand name. Some domain extensions can be used only within the country while some domain extensions are limited only for a particular product line. And top of that most domain extensions are not recognized by many internet users as a business website URL. So according to the top brand experts, the .com domain extension is the perfect TLD for a business and that has high recognition all over the world. 
  5. Easy to pronounce – a brand name communicates with the whole world. Make sure your brand name does not include complex pronunciation patterns. And also make sure the brand name you selected has less or no alternative pronouncing patterns that generate negative meanings or impressions.
  6. Storytelling – Fundamentally, stories are about connection. They provide universals to which everyone may connect, as well as similar experiences between people. Storytelling can be a strong tool in business, especially when it comes to branding. But what if we told you that your brand name may also be used to create a story?It may appear tough to include tales into your company’s name. The majority of brand names are merely one or two words long. How does a tale fit into that?

    Metaphors and allusions are used in story-driven names, such as Nike and Amazon. Nike is the Greek victory goddess. The Amazon refers to the world’s biggest forest. From these metaphorical names, we can tease out intriguing stories.

    If you concentrate more on the aspect of storytelling when selecting a brand name, that might have a negative impact on the brand name unintentionally. However, it is prudent to select a brand name without a negative connection



Using names of the world-famous characters as a brand name? Yes, it is a very effective way too. For example, the world-famous car company “Tesla”, named after the great American physicist Nikola Tesla. But using famous names can be risky as there is a possibility for legal issues or not preferring to use their names for business purposes.

Why Should Your Brand Name Be Universal?

The world becomes smaller with the development of technology and there is a huge competition among the businesses to become a recognizable brand name on the internet, in the market. So a brand name which has a universal meaning is very important and for that, you need a brand name with a positive meaning. The meaning of the brand name is very important because it deals with humans across the continents. 

These three facts are important in making a universal brand name.

  • Large communication capacity- A brand name is for anyone in the world. A brand name has a large communication capacity. So it is important to make sure that the brand name generates the same feeling and meaning to anyone who reads it. By getting a universal brand name you can communicate with the world. 
  • Inspire the growth of your business- some brand names generate different meanings in other languages which makes the business fail in that country. But getting a universal brand name is like you getting a free visa to any country in the world. 
  • Higher customer loyalty- a positive brand name develops customers’ trust towards the brand name. They recommend your brand name for their friends and relatives, they post about your brand name in social media and you can grow a loyal customer crowd with a universal brand name.
  • Authenticity- building trust with your audience is very important in creating a universal brand name. So a positive meaning of the brand name is very important in building trust with the customers.
  • Personal connection- dealing with the actual people is important. So you can be away from the usual branding process and connecting with people will give you a much better idea about how you should shape your brand name.
  • Customer experience- giving a customer an ultimate satisfaction through your brand name is important and it runs from the brand name to your products, sales, marketing and customer services.
  • Supports advertising-Brand names with positive meanings are easier to advertise as it has something meaningful and useful to market. But advertising a brand name with a negative meaning is just a waste of money.
  • Memorable-Human mind is very attractive towards advantages, positive impressions, positive feelings,  because of that it is obvious that brand names with positive meanings are memorable.
  • Generate customers-This is an illustrated advantage of the earlier mentioned “created trust” point, trustworthy brand names generate more and more new customers towards your brand name as the word of mouth quality of a “positive” brand name is higher.


Create an unforgettable first impression with your brand for your customers by adding a positive feeling …

What Are Real-Life Examples For Negative Connotation?

Word choice and connotation are crucial considerations for writers and speakers. The mood of writing, speech, conversation, or advertisement is affected by word choice. Texts should be carefully crafted by writers depending on the concepts and emotion they intend to convey to their audience. Words having good, negative, or neutral meanings may all have a significant influence on a sentence.

Here are some real-life examples of brands that have a negative meaning in other languages.

  • Pee Cola

This is a very popular soda in Ghana which means “a very popular cola”, but in English, it generates a whole different meaning and this is why you need to think more than twice when you name your business.

  • Lumia

Lumia is a smartphone series from Nokia which seems unique but when translated to Spanish, Lumia is similar to “The prostitute”.

  • Barf

This is a detergent manufactured in Iran which means “snow”. But outside of Iran, it refers to something less new and comfortable which has a negative meaning and negatively affects the business when they are going to expand the business.

  • Wang Cares

In the 1970s, Wang, an American computer company, asked its UK-based public relations department to explain why their popular tagline “Wang Cares” would not work in Queen’s English.

  • Coca-Cola

In China, the word Coca-Cola was first pronounced “Kekoukela,” which means “Bite the wax tadpole.” After searching over 40,000 characters for a phonetic match, Coke settled on “kokou kole,” which means “happiness in the mouth.”

  • Fart Bar

In Polish, where this candy bar is made, the name translates to “lucky bar.”

  • Bing

Bing is a Chinese word that implies sickness. It’s no surprise that everyone avoids using Bing like the plague.

  • Tonic Water

In Italian, Schweppes tonic water means toilet water. In Italy, they sponsored an advertisement campaign to encourage people to drink their tonic water. At the very least, they were being truthful.

  • Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz launched in China under the brand name “Bensi,” which translates as “rush to die.”

As you can see, choosing negative English words or words with bad connotations in other languages as a brand name can cause misunderstanding and have a negative impact on your brand.

"Create an unforgettable first impression with your brand for your customers by adding a positive feeling..."

How Can You Find Whether Your Brand Name Has A Negative Meaning In Other Languages?

You can find this in two ways and they are, 

  • You can check from our brand name evaluation tool. This is the easiest method you can find out whether you got the perfect positive brand name or your brand name has a negative meaning in other languages. Plus, it is totally free!!!
  • Another way is you can manually search whether your brand name has a negative meaning or not.

What Are Some Real Life Universal Brand Names?

Here are some popular brand names in the world that have no negative connotation but generate great and deep meanings in a positive way.

  1. Tesla- named after a great American physicist Nikola Tesla
  2. Nike – Greek goddess of the victory
  3. Google – 1 followed by 100 zeroes
  4. Visa– paper that has been seen
  5. Apple– represents the knowledge, simplicity
  6. Microsoft- micro computer software
  7. Amazon- the largest river in the world

What Do You Want People To Feel When They Read Your Brand Name?

The emotion a customer gets when reading your brand name or hearing your brand name for the first time, is very important to create a loyal customer base. If you select a negative brand name intentionally or unintentionally for your business, the first impression your customer gets is difficult to erase off for a certain period of time. For example, the Dior brand named one of their fragrances as “Poison”. Poison is a negative word and it is already recognized as a negative word. So adding a positive emotion forcingly for a negative word is difficult. Being a top fashion brand in the world Dior branded the word “poison” successfully with a series of marketing projects of millions of dollars.  But as a startup with a limited capital each dollar is important for you. So invest your capital for something worthwhile by avoiding negative emotions in your brand name.

Tip: How To Attract More Customers To Your Business Throughout The World?

These are some of the tips many famous brands have followed to attract more customers throughout the world to their businesses and establish their businesses in the market that you can do too.

  1. Showcasing employees(you can reveal the true heroes of your business, the true reason for your business’s success) 
  2. Develop an employee-generated content
  3. Holiday celebration
  4. Social events
  5. Contests
  6. Celebrate Traditions
  7. Office tour