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branding success

No doubt about it, a name is extremely important in the global marketplace. It's what branding is all about.
Ji’ao 吉奥Automobile Co., Ltd. apparently didn't think its name would be appropriate for its plunge into the global arena. But Gonow was really a poor choice. Even Ciao, which means hello in Italian, would have been a better.

As for the Japanese, they happen to be lucky that their language is easier to pronounce by English speakers than any of the other East Asian languages. So Honda, Subaru and Toyoda didn't need much changing.

Hyundai on the hand was tough for the English-speaking marketplace. It sounds differently than when heard pronounced by Korean speakers who say something closer to Hyundae.
So Chinese companies will have to hire some brand gurus and linguists in order to be successful. Some have it easier than others, like Hafei.
 

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If Ji'ao could produce a self-developed model with even Hyundai or Subaru quality, no one would care what the heck the name was.
With a competitive price, it would fly off the showroom floors. But in the case of Ji'ao, the capital to get the job done is lacking, and so it's not likely to happen.
 
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