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Abstract

Brand names are often considered as a part of product and important extrinsic cues of product evaluation, when consumers make purchasing decisions. For a company, brand names are also important assets. Building a strong brand name in the Chinese commonwealth is a main challenge for many global companies. One of the first problem global company has to face is how to translate English brand name into Chinese brand name. It is very difficult decision because of cultural and linguistic differences. Western languages are based on an alphabet phonetic system, whereas Chinese are based on ideogram. Chinese speakers are more likely to recall stimuli presented as brand names in visual rather than spoken recall, whereas English speakers are more likely to recall the names in spoken rather than in visual recall. We interpret these findings in terms of the fact that mental representations of verbal information in Chinese are coded primarily in a visual manner, whereas verbal information in English is coded by primarily in a phonological manner. A key linguistic differences that would affect the decision to standardize or localize when transferring English brand name to Chinese brand name is the writing system. Prior Chinese brand naming research suggests that popular Chinese naming translations foreign companies adopt are phonetic, semantic, and phonosemantic translation. The phonetic translation refers to the speech sound that is produced, such as the pronunciation of the brand name. The semantic translation involves the actual meaning of and association made with the brand name. The phonosemantic translation preserves the sound of the brand name and brand meaning. Prior brand naming research has dealt with word-level analysis in examining English brand name that are desirable for improving memorability. We predict Chinese brand name suggestiveness with different translation methods lead to different levels of consumers` evaluations. This research investigates the structural linguistic characteristics of the Chinese language and its impact on the brand name evaluation. Otherwise purpose of this study is to examine the effect of brand concept on the evaluation of brand name. We also want to examine whether the evaluation is moderated by Chinese translation types. 178 Taiwanese participants were recruited for the research. The following findings are from the empirical analysis on the hypotheses established in this study. In the functional brand concept, participants in Chinese translation by semantic were likely to evaluate positively than Chinese translation by phonetic. On the contrary, in the symbolic brand concept condition, participants in Chinese translation by phonetic evaluated positively than by semantic. And then, we found Chinese translation by phonosemantic was most favorable evaluations regardless of brand concept. The implications of these findings are discussed for Chinese commonwealth marketers with respect to brand name strategies. The proposed model helps companies to effectively select brand name, making it highly applicable for academia and practitioner.

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