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June 21, 2007

BenQ to Qisda: A Bad Brand Name to A Bad Brand Name

Anyone who reads our blog on a regular basis knows that we do not make a habit of being negative. That's too easy, anybody can do that.

However, this post is an exception.

BenQ I've never understood the Taiwan-based electronics company Acer changing its brand name to BenQ. I think it's fair to say that this name has no meaning to English speakers, but Wikipedia indicates that it's an acronym for "Bringing Enjoyment and Quality to life."

The new brand name, Qisda, has nothing going for it. But maybe that's a bit too harsh:

  • It does start with the letter "Q," which is the least used letter in English alphabet, thus making the name distinctive
  • Our proprietary consonant research of the English alphabet indicates that the letter "Q" is associated with innovation

Apparently, this Taiwanese electronics company is fond of naming its brands after acronyms:

  • Qisda reportedly stands for "Quality Innovation Speed Driving and Achievement"

Alphabet Soup BowlHowever, Qisda falls short of the mark in English, because the letter "Q" always appears before the vowel "U" and takes on the sound "kw" as in quest, quarter or queen.

When speakers of English see "Q" followed by a vowel other than "U," they quickly recognize it as a foreign word and invariably muddle the pronunciation.

For example, it's been almost 6 years since September 11, 2001, but the terrorist group, Al Qaeda, still enjoys two very distinct articulations in the media:

  • Al K- Da
  • Al Qwada

Now BenQ is asking speakers of English to pronounce another "Q" name followed by yet another vowel.

In my opinion, this is a classic example of a brand name developed internally with management sitting around the conference room table with little to no regard for the target market.

If you want to see what others think of the new Qisda name, there is an interesting image on Engadget.

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Posted by William Lozito at June 21, 2007 10:36 AM
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Maybe it's not so relevant to English speakers, but in a set of languages spoken in eastern Europe, including Romanian, Qisda(pronounced preferably keys-da) is quite similar to the vulgar word for vagina, making it not so daft when presented on these markets. I have a feeling that the BenQ brand name will know a longer life in this area.


I'm sorry please excuse me for laughing.
I'm a Romanian, and Quisda is pronounced as a very very ugly informal word in romanian meaning the female genital organ. :))

I'm sorry but that is not a good name. I can't say that in front of some children: "Look kids, I've got a Quisda CD-Rom in my hand" because they will probably think I'm very impolite or crazy. Not to mention that I can't say that in a shop. It's really silly. :p

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