The role of language and culture in marketing communication a study of Chinese brand names

Yue Yuan Huang*, Allan K K Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Brand naming is a crucial component in marketing communication. Chinese brand naming differs greatly from naming in Western communities. Both linguistic and cultural aspects play an important role in Chinese brand naming. This paper reports our analysis of 5,089 Chinese brand names from 21 product categories. We analyzed these brand names from six aspects: the syllable pattern, the tone pattern, the compounding pattern, the semantic pattern, the semantic field which consists of semantically associated words to indicate the functions or features of products, and the most frequently used words in branding. We found that Chinese brand naming has a consistent tendency for two-syllable names with a modifier-noun compounding structure. High tones and positive meaning are also the preferred features. The cultural influence is reflected in the selection of the semantic fields and the choice of words for brand names.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-285
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Communication
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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