Branding Strategy – Brand Name in Japanese? Or English?

Which you choose for brand name in Japanese or English?

How do you go about deciding on a brand name? I can’t come up with a good idea for naming my new product.
Once a brand name is chosen, you spend a lot of money and time on product packaging and advertising to match it, so you can’t easily change it. You should think carefully about it.
I’ve been looking at dictionaries and websites and trying to figure it out, but I can’t make up my mind. If I don’t decide on a brand name, I can’t go ahead with marketing my new product.

How to decide on brand name

Deciding on a brand name is a critical step in a company’s branding strategy. It is no exaggeration to say that the brand name determines the future of the company. It is often the case that a brand name can make a big difference in the company’s visibility and sales.

If you can choose a good brand name, you can successfully brand and differentiate your company from others. Once people perceive and trust the product as a quality product, the product will be chosen, leading to purchasing behavior and achieving the important objective of increasing sales.

However, coming up with a good brand name is no easy task.
There are various problems such as not knowing how to decide on a brand name, not being able to come up with a good brand name, or another company already using the same brand name.

How do you decide on a brand name that is memorable, striking, and conveys the characteristics of your product so that it is memorable upon first sight?

This article explains the key points in choosing a brand name, and how to decide on a brand name in Japanese or in another language.

Points to consider when deciding on brand name

・Simple and easy to understand
When deciding on a brand name, it is important to keep it as simple as possible, and to make sure that it can successfully express the characteristics of the product or service. It is not a good idea to overload the name with too much information.

・Easy to remember and pronounce
An easy-to-remember brand name will increase the likelihood of repeat purchases. It is also easy to search in the internet and spread by word of mouth to friends and SNS. Be careful not to use difficult kanji characters, foreign words, or long alphabets.

・Be original
It is very important to be unique and original.
It will attract consumers’ attention and make it easier for them to be interested in your product or service.
Check the Internet to see if other companies are using similar brand names.
Also, check to see if the brand name you have in mind has already been registered as a trademark. If the brand name is registered as a trademark for the product or service you want to use, it may be an infringement of another person’s rights.

“J-PlatPat database” provided by the Japan Patent Office allows you to search for registered trademarks free of charge.

You can also use our online trademark application service “AmazingDX” to search for registered trademarks for free!

AmazingDX Trademark Search Page

You can search for a trademark with a simple operation, and the results are displayed in an easy-to-understand format, such as ○, △, ×, etc., as to whether or not a trademark can be registered.
If there are no problems with the search results, you can request a trademark application online.

・Notes to attention
Since there are many foreigners living in Japan, you should consider making the brand name easy to remember and pronounce not only for Japanese but also for people from other countries. Languages used are not limited to English. Other languages relevant to foreigners living in Japan, such as Vietnamese, Indonesian, Spanish, and Portuguese, should also be considered.

It is also possible that after developing your product in Japan, you may want to expand your business overseas.
It is important to be aware of terms that can be used without problems in Japan, but may not be usable or misleading in other countries.
A well-known example is “CALPIS” which sounds similar to “Cow piss” in English-speaking countries, so it is renamed “CALPICO.

Should brand name be in Japanese or foreign language?

When considering a brand name, you would refer to various dictionaries, websites, and media information to decide on a brand name.
When deciding whether the brand name should be in Japanese or in a foreign language such as English, you should consider the product or service to be offered, the target consumers, and other factors to determine whether Japanese or a foreign language will have greater appeal to clients.

Brand name in Japanese

In the Japanese market, you can appeal to consumers directly and clearly about the functions and features of your product or service.
You can effectively express the features of your product or service by using various types of characters such as Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana.

・Examples of Japanese brand names
鼻セレブ (Hana Celeb): The name “Hana Celeb” conveys the concept of “a premium tissue for your nose.
爽健美茶 (Soukenbicha):The concept of Soukenbicha is “refreshing, healthy, and beautiful,” and the name clearly expresses using Chinese characters that it is a tea for people who are concerned about their health and beauty.
のどぬーる (Nodonuru):A disinfectant for the throat. The name is straightforward to convey the characteristics of the product!

Brand name in foreign language such as English

By using easy-to-understand words or short words, either alone or in combination, to create a distinctive sound or indication that is not found in Japanese, you can create a memorable brand name.
However, it is important to make sure that the name is easy for Japanese to remember.

When trying to have a brand name registered as a trademark in a foreign country, it is important to note that even if the word is not known in Japan, it may be considered a common name in a particular country and therefore cannot be registered as a trademark.

・Examples of Foreign language brand names
airweave: Combining the English words “air” and “weave”, the name expresses that “a good night’s sleep as if sleeping on air” can be realized by featuring a mattress product structure that looks like air woven into the mattress.

PayPay: The word “Pay” is repeated twice to make it easy to remember, so that users would have a strong impression of “Pay” for the launch of the smartphone payment service.

Châteraisé: The name of the company is a combination of the French words “château,” meaning castle, and “le raisin,” meaning grape, and means “castle of grapes. It was named after the town of Katsunuma in Yamanashi Prefecture, where it originated and is famous for its grapes.

AERA: “AERA” means “era” in Latin and is also a composite of the initial parts of “Asahi shimbun Extra Research and Analysis.

I’ve found that English brand names and Japanese brand names have different good points. I need to think carefully about my brand name so I don’t regret it later.


Brand names for companies, products, and services can increase a value of a company and contribute greatly to its image.
Brand names can be used exclusively without being imitated by other companies if they are registered as trademarks. Please consider registering your brand name as part of your branding activities and use it for your business.

For your branding, a trademark application is very important.

Let’s sign up and search for the trademark which would be obtained safely.

Supervisor for the article:
Osaka Legal Strategy Department General Manager Akinori HACHIYA
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