from John Dodds, consultant, Nomen UK

Sir; One of the most effective naming strategies is to identify a new product with positive emotions inherent in the consumption experience. 

So it is all the more unfortunate for Centura Foods that new Sharwood’s Bundh sauce with its £6m launch campaign has a name that can be interpreted in Punjabi as arse - provoking a flurry of national media stories. It joins the litany of misinterpretable product names that can do real damage to your brand.

The Vauxhall Nova might have evinced newness and dynamism to its advertising agency but in important Hispanic markets it was a car that was literally a no go.

And as Centura Foods now realises, even the most innocent things are not immune.

At Nomen, where we have been responsible for hundreds of names ranging from Armani Mania to Wanadoo, we realise that the creative brainstorming which goes into generating a good naming idea is only half of the process. All our ideas undergo rigorous checks for linguistic, legal and pronunciation pitfalls before there’s any question of a launch.

In the context of a £6m launch campaign, the additional cost is a very small price to pay.

Centura said the name was the suggestion of a Sharwood’s development chef and she chose it because she felt it so well describes the traditional Mughal or Awadh cuisine on which these sauces are based.

That just proves not everybody appreciates the complexity and nuances of the naming game. I’m betting Centura management wish they’d used experts to get them to the bottom of the process.