International naming that moves your boundaries

How do you find a name that works without problems in multiple languages? Globrands has decades of experience in the development of powerful names for worldwide brands that create the right expectations among people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

A good, internationally usable brand name brings great value, because it not only suits your brand, but also broadens your perspective and opens up new markets.

In addition, we can translate names and designations for different markets.

Global Naming Network

We are able to do so because we are part of the Global Naming Network, a collaboration of brand naming experts around the world.

mixture of languages

The Dutch history and geography has always inspired the people to work together with cultures all around the world. The Dutch language itself is basically a mixture of German, English, Latin and Nordic languages.


We work with agencies specializing in international linguistic research. This makes sure that we really are conveying the message we want to convey, and also avoid blunders.

A slogan is a brand story, packed in a handful of words.

Linked to the brand name, a slogan gives extra depth to the brand’s positioning. A slogan adds substance to the brand and reinforces the central message.

identity or action

Some slogans encourage action, such as “Rip. Mix. Burn.”, when Apple introduced iTunes. You see such slogans mainly in campaigns.
The other type of slogans tells more about the brand and its character, such as “Ideas that make scents” by PFW Aroma Chemicals.
This type of slogan is closer to the brand identity and is used for a longer period of time. Globrands is the right agency for the latter.


A lot is possible with slogans. Therefore, it is important to create focus before creating and selecting slogans, by formulating the brand’s identity and positioning.


This workshop has been developed to allow for good decision making about maintaining an existing name, versus developing a new one.

Globrands analyzes the current name and the possibilities that it offers. We compare these with examples of new names and their various strategic implications. We show all in combination with other verbal and non-verbal brand elements, and provide an estimate of the costs that the options entail.

This is a sound basis for a well-considered decision.

To succeed, a new company, service, or product should start with a truly innovative proposition. This requires a strong concept, with distinctive brand positioning and naming bringing focus to it.

Our approach consists of finding the optimal product-market combination and the brand’s role in it.

Globrands has a worldwide test panel consisting of native speakers, with which we quickly and effectively test names for pronounceability and intended (and unintended!) associations.

We also use our excellent relationships within the Global Naming Network for creativity and nuanced judgment.

If time and budget are available, research is an important part of the selection process. After all, it is about the perception and appreciation of people who will use the brand or work for it.

exploratory or evaluative

Exploratory research serves to determine direction. Which elements of a brand are considered important; what do participants expect to be a new brand’s promises and objectives?

Evaluative research serves to determine whether the perception of a brand matches the objectives.

qualitative or quantitative

Qualitative research consists of individual or group discussions that provide insight into the underlying arguments and motivations of a target group about brands and brand experience. The result is therefore based on conversations about the behaviour, motivations, opinions, wishes and needs of target groups or stakeholders.

Quantitative research is simpler and cheaper, but in principle, it has the same goal. It is relatively short and quick to set up, goes less deep and is usually online. The results are mainly based on multiple-choice questions or short open questions, which lead to numerical results and percentages.

A name audit is an expert opinion about the potential of a brand name.

This assessment focuses on:

  • technical possibilities, such as trademark law and linguistic feasibility and agreement with possible further regulations.
  • intrinsic strength of the name: the fit of the name with the positioning of the brand, the application in the brand portfolio and other communication.

If your organization regularly launches new projects, productions or products, this can lead to a rapidly expanding brand portfolio and demand a lot of name creation.

You may not want to hire Globrands for that every time. Then Globrands can draw up guidelines and instructions for its own name creation.

use of language with your brands

Often, there is also a need for standards for the use of a brand name in relation to other names in the portfolio.

For example, is a brand “part of” another brand or is it “made possible by”? Was it Flippo’s from Smith’s, or Smith’s Flippo’s? Does a system work with the MedMij standard, according to the MedMij standard or does it meet the MedMij standard?

We address these matters for organizations in a NamingManual. You can compare that to a brand book, but it is focused on language and naming.

Companies that want to stay relevant, sometimes through mergers, sales or demergers, choose to reposition their brands on the market.

Determining the identity, positioning, naming, logo, corporate identity and culture for this, is a complex process in which all elements must be carefully coordinated, both internally and to the market.

We are always curious what rebranding would mean to your organization.

Another word for brand portfolio strategy is brand architecture. Brands interact with other brands from their own brand portfolio. Examples are the parent brand, delivered products or services, line extensions, etc. A brand portfolio is in fact a coherent family of brand names.

Sometimes brands and sub-brands in a portfolio have more or less started to lead their own lives so that the brand as a whole shows less coherence . That can be useful in communications, but it can also be inefficient.

BrandQuadrants model

Globrands’ BrandQuadrants model brings clarity, making it possible to make assessments for each brand or sub-brand, and to formulate guidelines for both the near and the far future.

A brand exists because it distinguishes itself positively from other brands. The brand positioning explains what that distinction is. This is not only important for naming, but forms the basis for everything the brand does.

BrandDefiner session

In order to jointly achieve a clear, powerful brand positioning, we organise the BrandDefiner session.

The BrandDefiner session is inspiring, question driven, to the point and interactive thanks to its clever and clear design.

Crucial is the ‘why’. We start with a conversation about the world of the brand as it is now and how it should be. Then we return to the basics: the ‘what’. It happens all too often that there really is no suitable category description in place. Once there is, we focus on the needs of the target audience and formulate the ‘how’: the brand benefits, evidence, brand personality and brand promise.

Based on this session, we can carry out a naming process, write a Branding BluePrint or a BrandStory.

Branding BluePrint

The Branding BluePrint presents the positioning of the brand clearly and concisely, so that it can be used by everyone as a basis for policy-making, communication strategy, text and design.

With the help of a written feedback round about the concept version, we provide extra quality.

Branding BluePrint elements

  • vision of the brand
  • category description
  • target audience
  • benefits (functional, emotional and social)
  • key values
  • brand personality
  • brand promise

Of course, these elements can be adapted to the needs of the client in consultation.

Our BrandStory tells why a brand is there, what it does and how it does it. It addresses every audience for which the brand may be relevant.

Energy and direction

A BrandStory gives energy and direction to the brand. Not only when it comes to design and communication, but also when making policy choices.

A Brand Story from Globrands:
– inspires

It is one thing to say “inspire”; actually inspiring is something else. A good brand story evokes sympathy for the motives of a brand, brings emotional solidarity and encourages action.

– is about friction that needs to be resolved

Without friction, there is no story. The friction creates a desire, an emotional tension. In our BrandStory it is expressed in a non-technical, tangible way. This is how a BrandStory should express common marketing terms “vision”, “brand insight” and “why”.

– closely matches the brand’s positioning

A brand is stronger, the more consistent it is. We demonstrate the Brand’s core values ​​by expressing them in a recognizable and tangible way, and in a tone that fits the brand personality. We articulate unique selling points (or brand benefits) as the activities with which the brand can solve the contradiction in the market.

We can use our BrandDefiner to determine brand positioning.


Read our Pharma Naming News blog here.

When a molecule becomes a brand

While proprietary medicinal products used to have a high degree of in-crowd names and language, cultivated by the pharma industry and medical specialists as their domain of expertise, today pharma has become a brand dependent industry. Moreover, this dependent industry is owned by the public, debated by the media, commented on by patients and caregivers on internet and requested by name in general practitioners’ surgeries.

These developments have created a necessary paradigm shift in how healthcare companies should approach the concept of brand development.

The need to engage with the end-user has caused companies to rise to the challenge of speaking the patient’s language as much as the prescriber’s language, ultimately resulting in a new way of pharma and health branding to create a relationship with both prescribers and patients.

A good balanced brand name has therefore become a strategic tool in the communication of the product and has come to be recognized as a powerful wealth creator by the pharmaceutical industry.

As pipelines produce more diminished returns and as generics prove an ever-greater force to be reckoned with, one of the fundamental challenges for the pharma industry is making the important transition from the current model of profit maximization before product obsolescence, to one of brand maximization to prevent obsolescence.

This calls for a radical reassessment of the value of brands within the industry and a rethink of how brands are developed, managed and maximized.

The patient is more concerned with what a drug can do for them than how a drug works. Therefore, brand names should be more benefit-oriented, communicative and relevant to a wider set of target audiences.

Globrands health&pharma delivers evocative and memorable names, executed in a manner that differentiates your product from the competitive landscape.

Globrands works on the creative name development for hundreds of brand names every year, with clients ranging from the world’s largest multi-national companies to start-up companies with only one product in the pipeline.

A crowded trademark class

A name for a new drug is subject to a level of scrutiny unknown in any other industry. Any brand name for a pharmaceutical or healthcare product has to be cleared and registered in Class 5, notoriously one of the most crowded trademark classes:

    • Every month, an average of 1,000 names are filed in Class 5 at the USPTO;
    • No fewer than 663,000 registered trademarks exist in Class 5 in the EU alone.

Once a shortlist of names has navigated the legal labyrinth successfully, applications to file should be made to afford the requisite protection of those marks.

Why 35% of submitted pharma names are rejected

Data from the American FDA and the European EMA indicate that approximately 35 percent of names submitted for approval are met with rejection. This very high percentage clearly shows how serious the matter is, as well as the matter of the saturation of approved brand registrations. Regulators follow a very strict control of possible errors and, therefore, tend to watch the whole chain of use (from storage, purchase or prescription to use or final effects).

One of the reasons for the high rejection rate is that a name can be a matter of life and death. Seemingly innocuous interchanges of names have resulted in temporary harm, permanent harm, patient hospitalization and, in some cases, ultimately, in death. Rejection is therefore largely down to the potential of confusion with other brand names and thus, the resulting risk of dispensing errors and misprescription.

Application requirements

In order to avoid those problems related to availability and safety, the FDA recommends to present 3 names in the application so that the regulator can make sure he has an acceptable one, which does not hinder commercial plans or puts a people’s health at risk.

Pharmaceutical naming needs specific treatment, as it is a matter of capital importance, which requires knowledge, experience and effective tools. Besides, the naming team has to work in perfect coordination with the legal, medical, marketing and pharmaceutical team developing it.

Generics becoming brands

There is also another aspect emerging, being that the generics themselves will become brands with time. This change has already occurred in FMCG – if you look at private label brands such as Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the difference’ or Albert Heijn’s ‘Excellent’. (And taking the case of Tesco, private label now accounts for 50% of their income.) Consumers understand this shift in FMCG, so why should they be any less receptive when it comes to pharma?

The brand as key differentiator

The end of drug patents also introduces complexity for brands with the rapid emergence of competition, who can deliver the same performance as the brands but cheaper. Taking the product formulation out of the equation, what is left? The remaining key differentiators are the brand name and personality. In addition, brand resonance is the key to keep valuable connections and reasons-to-believe with the consumer.

However, this is not a future scenario and given that this is happening as we speak you could also argue that for most brands the gate has closed for them to ramp up their brand expression as a rearguard action against the new copycats.

The competition of the future no longer takes place between different products and services. The competition takes place between the values built into names. Many names are worth much more than the product itself.

Therefore, it pays to develop a better product, as well as developing a stronger name the can make the product successful and longer lasting than the patent does.

There are many places where you can see if a domain name is still available. However, most of them are checked by third parties that keep track of your domain name queries and quickly register them as soon as you show more than normal interest in one.

A safe place to check domain name availability is

All names Globrands presents to clients are pre-checked for all relevant domain extensions, preventing unnecessary disappointments.

search words in a domain name

Clients quite often ask for a brand or domain name that contains their most important keywords, so that they will be found easily.

There are drawbacks to this strategy: keywords don not tend to make for great, distinguishing and easy to remember brand names. Also, brand names that consist of descriptive terms tend to be harder to claim and defend as trademarks.

Moreover, search engines take a lot more into account besides the domain name, so in order to be found by search engines, good brand naming provides more ways to be found online, which quite often are better than just using keywords in the brand.

This is not to say that one should always avoid focusing on having keywords in a brand name. Please contact us for more information.

When a new brand is born out of several established ones, this offers good possibilities for a company name that is strong and telling from the beginning.

Brand naming is an inspiring and motivating process that provides a focal point while building a new brand identity.

the dynamics of a merger

Each merger is different and has its own dynamics. The best way to involve management and employees varies, as well as the measure of consensus about the direction.


We can develop a name straight from a briefing and aim the decision process at acceptation by central stakeholders. However, since a merger affects everyone in an organisation, we can also provide several ways to make use of creativity present among employees and generate support for new naming.

Our broad experience allows us to get the optimal result in every situation and make sure that the new name provides a solid foundation for the new brand identity. Read more about organising support for a new name.

Name development cannot be seen separately from trademark and trade name rights. Brands are among the most important assets of a company; in a communicative and economic sense, but also as intellectual property.

Globrands works mostly with Matchmark, the in-house trademark office, but also with offices like HGFNovagraaf and Chiever. If clients prefer to work with other trademark attorneys this is also possible.

focus on possibilities

Trademark law research naturally focuses on potential objections, but the trick is to focus on what is possible. That is the added value that Globrands offers.

identical brand names

Before each name presentation, the trademark office makes an initial screening of all name proposals on relevant identical brand names in selected countries.

similar brand names

After selection of a shortlist, the remaining alternatives are examined as extensively as necessary for similar brand names and trademark registrations in all relevant records. After the selection of the final name, it is registered in the relevant trade mark registers.