On Friday, The New York Times profiled some of the Chinese companies that have taken nonsensical branding to its postmodern conclusion, selling products under Western-inspired names like "Biemlfdlkk" and "Marisfrolg."
"You could call it fawning on foreign powers," one costumer told the paper while shopping Chocoolate, a Hong Kong clothing store.
Other brands mentioned in the article:
- Frognie Zila
- Helen Keller (a sunglasses maker)
- Chrisdien Deny
- Johnnie Worker Red Labial Whiskey
Of course, giving your company a meaningless, foreign-sounding name can present unique challenges when dealing with journalists.
A Biemlfdlkk saleswoman in the southern city of Guangzhou explained, "It's a German name." An employee at another Biemlfdlkk shop had a different explanation: "It's the name of a French designer."
Ah yes, Jean-Pierre Biemlfdlkk.
Some, however, rose to the occasion, like an employee at Helen Keller (motto: "you see the world, the world sees you"), whose website "omits all mention of the disabilities" faced by their namesake.
Reached by phone, a brand manager found nothing problematic about the omission. "So she's blind and deaf — her personal shortcomings are not related to the spirit of our brand," said the woman, who gave only her surname, Jiang. "These products help you love and protect your eyes. Why would that be offensive?"
[Images via Youtube/GG.com]