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Do Mystery Product Names Really Sell?

There is a certain attraction in foreign words and made-up names. Psychologists discover that people associate positive ideas with words that they do not understand. Especially in the United States where an average American citizen speaks 0.18 foreign languages. (by Dr. Julianne Malveaux).

So for 4 out of 5 Americans A “Grande Mocha Frapuccino” is a fascinating foreign name calling for higher price than your regular next-door Shake with Shaved Ice Chocolate and Coffee would. Starbucks figured it out, hooking caffeine addicts to their exotic-sounding “venti” and “grande”.

Another good example is Roomba. It’s a perfect product name: fun, rhythmic, original and relevant as it perfectly describes the “room dance” this robotic vacuum performs when turned on.  And it’s easy to localize for a global market! Unlike Buick LaCrosse, Myst or Kaloderma.


The struggle for successful made-up names is lead by high-tech companies these days. Past decade didn’t seem to teach manufacturers a good marketing lesson, this is why after having CX7430, CX7300, and CX7220 cameras we still get Z812 IS, Z950 and M341 🙂 One would think that after developing these remarkably sophisticated devices coming up with a good name would be the easy part! Not quite so. Developing a catchy foreign or made-up name for your brand or a product is a multi-level process involving product/service study and testing, market research and linguistic expertise. And keep that localization in mind!

A new name has to be convertible into as many languages as your business strategy would. This is where your language service provider comes into play helping find accented words that would to convey a more cosmopolitan corporate image and build a successful global marketing strategy minimizing risk of embarrassing language-related mistakes.

Here is an eye-catching brand example for you along with many more bloopers at!

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