Some naming errors: “PepsiCo’s “Sierra Mist” drink would never work in Germany, because “Mist” in German means “manure.” The car industry has a history of such blunders: General Motors’ car “LaCrosse” is a term for self-gratification among teenagers in French-speaking Canada, the Chevy “Nova” could be mistaken to mean “doesn’t run” in Spanish-speaking countries”
Do you know what “Pinto” means in Rio? Neither did the Ford Motor Company:
Ford’s “Pinto” translates into “small penis” in Brazilian Portuguese slang.
Next Wave: How to name a startup
Red Herring, June 14, 2004
The Big Picture: Some naming errors: “PepsiCo’s ‘Sierra Mist’ drink would never work in Germany, because ‘Mist’ in German means ‘manure.’ The car industry has a history of such blunders: General Motors’ car ‘LaCrosse’ is a term for self-gratification a…
I truly enjoy bigpicture and have been a daily reader for some time now. Since you are usually one to point out poor arguments or factual inaccuracies, I was surprised to see you repeating the oft-mentioned (but incorrect) anecdote re: the Chevy Nova’s supposedly poor sales in Spanish-speaking countries.
Snopes has a very interesting and well-written debunking of this popular myth: http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/nova.asp . Just wanted to send that your way and take the opportunity to say thanks — I always look forward to your posts.
Snarkhunting is a blog on “Naming and Branding in Popular Culture” that’s can be pretty interesting. They are affiliated with Igor International who has a branding taxonomy chart that you can use to try your hand at making your own blunders: