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English, Korea, Language, Travel

Wanna be exclusive? Use another language!

I have a tie. It’s a nice tie. I know this because:
1) My daughter chose it
2) It’s from Milan (Milano)

But I was very surprised the company that made the tie was called “Andrew’s Ties“. Perhaps in Milan ‘Andrew’ gives a certain gravitas to the brand, but as a Brit I would have preferred a more stylish Italian name.

My Andrew's tie from Milano

My Andrew's tie from Milano

Indeed a UK gentlemen’s outfitter Dunn & Co, founded in 1886, adopted a very Italian sounding brand ‘Ciro Citterio’. Was this because it gave a stylish sound to an otherwise very British sounding company? Eventually, the company was sold to an Indian suits manufacturer. Perhaps emphasising British (or English) -ness like Hilditch & Key would have been more successful. Or Gieves & Hawkes which on its website (June 28th 2011) says it has nearly 100 fine stores and concessions in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

In a similar vein, to the ill fated Ciro Citterio, the Guardian ran an article some years ago entitled ‘Why Moben wanted to be Möben

Many companies from English speaking countries often invent words or use Latin or Greek for company names – I did this with my company name ‘Amicus TransTec‘ (friendly translation technology) whereas many companies from non-English speaking countries use English words.

Look at non-Latin alphabet countries, for extreme examples, that have major brand names in the Latin alphabet, for example Samsung, Canon and Lenovo (although it is interesting to note Lenovo has a Chinese brand logo as well).

Lenovo logo from (as of 28th June 2011)

Lenovo logo from (as of 28th June 2011)

Will there be a time in the future when the western world has to adopt, for example, Chinese brand names and characters to have an international brand?

Of course the company name doesn’t have to be a ‘translation’ as such, whilst in Seoul, I eventually relented and ate at a chain called ‘Paris Baguette’, only to discover it is a brand name used by Baskin Robbins!

By the way, Andrew’s Ties have a shop in Seoul, as well as Milan, as the pictures show below.

Andrew's Ties in Seoul

Andrew's Ties in Seoul

Apparently “Andrew’s Cravats” was considered but “Ties” was chosen in the end.

Andrew's Ties not cravats

Andrew's Ties, not cravats

About Doug Lawrence

I help businesses to grow internationally


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