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Pronouncing Brand Names

Tenato Door SignsYou say Ten-AY-toh, We Say Ten-AH-toh

I was on Twitter this recently and ran across a gentleman with an extremely tricky-looking last name.   When I asked him how to pronounce it, it was actually quite simple.  Having a pet interest in word origins and words in general due to being in the branding biz, it made me think of a website I discovered a couple of years ago and had forgotten about – www.pronouncenames.com

This website is a wonderful resource for anyone in business, because if you’re worried about trampling someone’s last name (or first name for that matter), you can quite often find it already registered in the pronouncenames.com database.   In fact, I like to put in tricky names as I run across them, so that I remember how to pronounce them later on.  I used to have a very difficult maiden name myself (Beyea), so had input my surname into this website so that it would be “on record” with its correct pronunciation (Bee-YAY).  You’ll see that the website also coaches you on how to translate your spelling into a simple-to-read phonetic version.   You can even record your voice saying it if you choose, as part of that name’s archive.

This got me thinking– why not put in brand names here?    It seems that more and more, as we develop brands for clients, it becomes harder to find new and original words, syllables and combinations.  (By the way, here’s a really funny list of some of the worst brand names ever that will give you a laugh). But let’s face it, with domain name availabilities becoming more scarce, names do get stranger.   So, if you end up with something unique, and are risking mispronunciation, check out this website, and register your name, and it’s unique meaning, here.

While Tenato seemed like an easy name at first, and people have generally been pretty positive about it, we have gotten a few mishaps — and have now registered it in pronouncenames.com too.    If you want to know more about it its origin, read here.

If you’d like some tips on developing highly creative brand names, we’ve got those too — CLICK HERE.

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Jacqueline Drew
About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm MBA is CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a Calgary-based marketing research and strategy firm. She loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win" and is also an energetic supermom, bandleader and songwriter.

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