Selection of a brand or company name can be one of the most challenging components of building any business. Having a name that is catchy, memorable and has hopefully never been used before is exceptionally tough. But if you do find that perfect name that ticks all of the above boxes, leaps out at you, works great as a dot com and paints a clear image of what your product or brand does, well you’re definitely onto a winner.
Well this is what I thought when I came up with the name FurzAid.
To me, it was perfect in all the following ways:
- It sounds like First Aid and therefore must be about bringing help or medical assistance.
- It is using a phonetic spelling of Fur (plural) and therefore eludes to animals.
- It is short, snappy and easy to remember.
- It has never been used before and was available as a dot com and on all social media.
As I said, to me it is perfect in every way possible.
Then I told a German friend about my exciting new Animal Rescue App project and she asked me THE question: “Are you aware that Furz, means Fart in the German language?”
Fast forward eight months and I am very aware of this now. Every German person kindly feels the need to bring this to my attention and most follow this with a suggestion that I should consider changing the name. This happens so frequently now that I had to write this blog, just so that I didn’t have to re-type this explanation every time.
So this is how I have found I can best respond:
Thank you. Yes, I am well aware that Furz is flatulence in German .
Unfortunately it is too late to change. So yes it is called FurzAid, but the opening page of the App says: Animal Rescue App. To which I have now discussed this with a great deal of Germans since I found out and everyone except for one person have all said the same thing after they have a little giggle. They say that calling it ‘Furz’ is easily forgiven, as it is an App that is created to help animals.
Secondly. Most also believe it will likely work in our favour in the German market too. A kind of reverse marketing, whereby German’s look at it out of curiosity, thinking ‘why is this an App about farts? Oh it’s an App in English about rescuing animals. Silly English, but what an amazing concept’. I can see myself on German TV explaining this very thing, for the fact that it is a purely comical and yet an important project.
Finally, on the research I have done, what if I did actually change the name? What if I called it PupAid (which already exists btw), well Pup also means fart in the German language. Okay, call it PetAid, hang on Pet is fart in French.
See my problem.
Ultimately, I think the current name that sounds like First Aid and uses the word Fur (symbolising animals), far outweighs a little mistaken reference to flatulence. Call it FursAid perhaps? Unfortunately, when you write this in all lower case, or as a dot com, it looks like and reads ‘fur said’. Which doesn’t make sense.
Other companies and brands have faced similar challenges. Apparently, the Nokia Lumia name means, woman of the night in Spanish…
So in the end it seems, I may offend a German or two, but most people just find it a little comical, think it’s a bit strange, but is a wonderful cause tweaked by their curiosity and in the end, it is easily forgiven.
Plus, with the mission of the App as the following: “To arm every Animal Lover, Charity, Sanctuary, Organisation, Vet and Volunteer, with the Animal Rescue App, that is a seamless user experience with both a simple action tool and a complete rescue management package. From first contact, throughout care and onto successful outcome. This to bring assistance to any stray, lost, injured, ill or just-down-trodden animal, that the user finds, anywhere”. I think, in the end I will have to contend with far wider implications that a little mistaken reference (spoken in German) about trouser trumpets.
Now thankfully, having done my research I am pleased to say that there are no more unconscious surprises, or worse, horrible translation offences in any other languages (well according to online translator anyway). Fingers crossed.
So FurzAid it is!