You’d think many of those multinational brands you see around you can be found just about in every supermarket or common goods store around the world, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Try asking for a Burger King in Australia or opening a Gmail account in Poland and you’ll see how you would get totally different services than the ones you were looking for.
JACK’S HUNGRY FOR A BURGER KING
When the Burger King Corporation established themselves in Australia in 1971, they found that a small chain located in the city of Adelaide had already taken their name. Unable to use their own brand, they chose from a list of possible pre-existing trademarks already registered by Burger King beforehand. In the end, Hungry Jack’s was the winner.
REXONA SURE HAS LOTS OF NAMES
The famous deodorant Rexona is a product of its parent company, Unilever. In the UK, however, they went with the name “Sure”. And that’s not all, in Japan they’re selling it as “Degree” and in South Africa as “Rexena.”
SOMETIMES IT’S ABOUT PRONUNCIATION
Although you might know it as Dannon, the famous food-products corporation comes from France, where its original name is “Danone.” When they tried to expand to the US market, they decided to use a more “American sounding” name.
AXE THAT LYNX
Axe, the deodorant that promises women will basically throw themselves at you, had to use a different name in certain English speaking markets. They chose to use “Lynx” in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and even China. It seems they had trouble associating an axe with body deodorant.
HE’S CLEAN AND KNOWS LANGUAGES
The makers of the Mr. Clean cleaning brand chose to translate its name for each market they’ve expanded to. In Mexico he’s “Maestro Limpio,” in Eastern Europe, he’s “Mr. Proper” and in Italy he’s “Mastro Lindo.” When it came to the UK and Ireland, however, they chose “Flash”, as the original name was already taken. Such party poopers!
WALK RIGHT UP TO THE LAYS STAND
Founded in 1948, Walkers was the leading potato chip brand in the UK. When Pepsico Inc wanted to expand into this market, they bought the whole brand and kept it in order to retain customer loyalty. They repurposed their Lays logo, but the name “Walkers” stayed front and center.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST CANDY BAR
Originally produced in Europe under the “Raider” brand, this candy bar was introduced in the US in 1979 as “Twix” (“twin biscuits” or “twin bix”). It was sold in Europe with the Raider name until 1991, when they decided to rename it to Twix for all markets to maintain consistency around the world.
FROM A BIRD TO OUTER SPACE
Dove, not to be confused with the personal care products, is a brand of chocolate from Mars Inc, and you can buy it anywhere in the states. But if you go to the UK, Egypt or India, you’d need to ask for a “Galaxy” bar, unless you want to get stuck with a pigeon.
DO YOU WANT A GMAIL ACCOUNT OR A GOOGLEMAIL ACCOUNT?
Turns out that everyone who signs up for a Gmail account automatically obtains a @googlemail.com account as well, but this is not the case for certain countries. When Gmail rolled out worldwide, three countries already had a gmail.com domain registered by someone else, so new users of Google’s service would get the longer email address. After battling it out in court or simply paying for the rights to use the name, Google acquired the “gmail” domain in Germany and in England. Unfortunately, if you live in Poland or Russia, you’ll get a @googlemail.com address instead.
THE CREST OF BLEND-A-MED
Crest is a toothpaste brand sold in the United States by Procter & Gamble since 1955. In Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Russia, however it’s sold with another name: Blend-a-med. This was the name of a German toothpaste acquired by Procter & Gamble in 1987. They decided to stick with the name and keep their market share.