April 30, 2006
Google Brand Name Change: Much Ado About Gu Ge
Conventional marketing wisdom and common sense dictate using one global brand name for a company doing business globally.
However, "when in China, do as the Chinese do" might apply. Google may have sold part of its soul with the name change in China to Gu Ge (which means something to the effect of "Song of the Harvest of Grain").
But there's another way to look at this: China has four times the population of the US, and its economy is growing three times faster. You do the math.
There's a lot of noise on the internet these days about a backlash over the Gu Ge name in China. According to an article from Deutsche Presse-Agentur, reprinted by Tech Monsters and Critics, about 10,000 Chinese consumers have suggested up to 50 alternative names for Gu Ge, with about half of them favoring keeping the "Google" name.
These 10,000 consumers, as a percent of China's 1,307,000,000 population, is equivalent to comparing the population of Three Fork, Montana or Elk Point, South Dakota with the total population of the United States (299,000,000).
Never heard of Three Fork or Elk Point? That's my point. A New Coke debacle it's not. It's barely a whisper. Google is wise not to take legal action against the www.noguge.com site. Doing so would only make the site a cause célèbre.
Who knows? With the center of gravity shifting to China and India, it's not incomprehensible that Google's global brand name may someday be changed to Gu Ge.
Here are some other perspectives on the Gu Ge brand name:
- China Snippets has Google's promotional video about the new brand name, with English subtitles.
- The Journal of Intercultural Learning on the Cultural Implications of Google’s New Chinese Name.
- Global Voices offers a roundup of comments from Chinese bloggers.
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In my April 30th post regarding the Gu Ge brand name, I suggested that resistance to the Gu Ge brand name in China "was a whisper." Another week has passed, and it’s fair to say that with only 2,680 additional Chinese of out 1,307,000,000 v... [Read More]
Tracked on November 15, 2006 8:25 PM