Wednesday, 18 November 2009

With my rucksack in the Bauhaus

I'm working on a branding project at the moment and have noticed the reluctance of my German colleagues when it comes to names derived in some way from the German language.

Of course, there are some very good reasons for this, which I wrote about a few years back here. And you can see it clearly when you look at Top Global Brands - those that use names like Siemens, Porsche or Allianz hail from many years back while relative newcomers go for something more neutral such as SAP.

It's also apparent in the playground where there aren't too many Gudruns, Brunhilds, Helmuts and Gottfrieds running around these days - the more "all-purpose European" names such as Lena and Lukas are more prevalent.

In fact, the only ones who are really allowed to get away with good old-fashioned German names are bands or fashion brands, where a touch of irony is implied. Or non-Germans, like the New Zealand production house Krafthaus - check out the ironic militaristic imagery and gothic typeface here.

German is such a wonderful language that it does seem that some German brands are missing out on an opportunity here, if it's all handled in the right way. After all, "Vorsprung durch Technik" didn't do too bady for Audi.

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