Producing Excellence in Retail!

In the Impulse blog last week, we explained that some recent new enquires and client brand value messages that were highly relevant to our clients POS display needs had prompted an interesting debate here at the offices about the style and the type of marketing messages that brands were having to consider in the 21st century compared to what had been done in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

It led us, over the past few days, to also catch up via amusing and sometimes serious chats about brand name loyalty and trust and what has happened to brands that have changed their names- and from our point of view were in need of some new POS ideas perhaps!?

Our findings were very mixed but after some research, we thought, interesting nonetheless, here are a few examples of what we discovered.

Question 1 

What do Snickers, HSBC, Starburst, Cif, Consignia, O2, Daim, Olay, Nissan and Aviva all have in common?


Answer:- they all started their product lives under different names in the UK market as follows: Marathon, Midland, Opal Fruits, Jif, Royal Mail, BT Cellnet, Dime, Ulay, Datsun, and Norwich Union.

Each of the above brands were the recipients of a brand name change in order to globalise and standardise the brand name of the product or service and although there were many in the Marketing world who promoted the thought of failure and the need to return to the original brand name in the UK – it did not prove to be the case and they all continue to grow and build on a global scale.

Question 2

What do Parker Pen, Coors, Mercedes Benz, Vicks and Proctor & Gamble and General Motors have in common?


Answer: The need for a more reliable and careful translation department when looking to promote their brand name and sometimes the endorsement line for the product in overseas markets;

This is what we found!

Parker Pen – ‘A product that does not leak in your pocket and embarrass you’- when translated into Spanish became ‘ A product that does not leak in your pocket and make you pregnant!’

Coors – In Mexico their brand line of ‘Turn It Loose’ became an embarrassing ‘ Suffer from Diarrhoea!’

Merceds Benz – In China, car sales fell until they realised that the brand nickname of Bensi used to promote the cars in all advertising translated to ‘Rush To Die!

Vicks – not so much a translation  error as a national pronunciation of the letter V which sounds like F meant that the word sounded very naughty indeed!- Wicks  is now the brand name in Germany!

Pampers– If only someone had checked that in Japan it is known that new babies are delivered to their mothers and fathers via floating peaches! NOT by the Stork that featured in their advertising campaigns!

General Motors launch of the new Nova car in Spain and Latin America was well short of target until they discovered that ‘No Va’ in Spanish means it ‘does not go’ or ‘does not work’!

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