Telly ads normally make me glaze over and zone out, but the latest/current one from Hyundai caught my ear. The entire ad was about how we’ve all been pronouncing the name wrong. I don’t know how long Hyundai has been around or why they chose now to do this (though undoubtedly it’s voice search driven). But it made me think, again, about what’s in a name.

There’s a ton of stuff online about global/international brand names which have not translated well. Nova springs to mind, which in Spanish (no va) means doesn’t go. Not ideal for a car brand.

Ikea is another we’ve apparently been pronouncing wrong, presumably since the first ever Ikea appeared in the UK. Plus, Adidas, Nutella and Nike – google it. 

It doesn’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things if people pronounce things differently to others and different to the intended pronunciation per se. (Apparently, I pronounce Amazon differently to most people I know – Amazun not AmaZON). But it does kind of matter if you are trying to ask about that product or service or talk about it with friends. I have an awful feeling I am one of the many who has asked for quin-oh-ah in a supermarket instead of keen-whah. I never bothered buying it after that – way too much trauma involved, and really could it be that nice?

I’m a big fan, in all areas of my life, of keeping it simple. Why overcomplicate things if you don’t need to? Life is complex enough no?

So if you need to name a new product, service, business, award, event, newsletter etc then try and opt for something that is easy to say and easy to spell, which in turn should make it easier to recall and roll off the tongue when needed. With voice search becoming more and more prevalent, the need for simplistic naming is crucial.