Good Characters is a naming company in California known for creating exceptional Chinese versions of American business names.

Good Characters is a naming company in California known for creating exceptional Chinese versions of American business names.

A mural in Chinatown, San Francisco

Artists: Darryl Mar, Darren Acoba, Joyce Lu, Tonia Chen

 

Helping you get the best Chinese name for your brand.

 

Did you know . . .

. . . some of the best Chinese names have been crafted in the United States.

 

Millions of Chinese Americans in the United States are among the richest and most intellectual Chinese in the entire world. Many Chinese Americans keep in touch with friends and family in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and many other Chinese-speaking regions. They stay current with news, events, and the latest language development. They are sophisticated in the nuances of Eastern and Western cultures. Living in a free society also enables many Chinese Americans to think expansively and creatively without limitations and restrictions. Most people believe they have to go to China for Chinese names, but the truth is that the best Chinese names can be and have been crafted in the United States.

 

 

Yosemite

 

優勝美地

优胜美地

Yosemite

 

優勝美地

优胜美地

 

Our vision to advance the field of Chinese naming right here in America:

 

As a native speaker of multiple Chinese languages with an advanced degree and professional training in experimental psychology (with a focus on research in bilingual memory) and connections in the Chinese communities in America and the Greater China Region, founder and president Andy Chuang began Good Characters in 2001 in California, the first professional brand naming company specializing in creating Chinese versions of company and product names. For 15 years, Good Characters has been crafting Chinese names and continually improving the Chinese naming process through knowledge and experience with thousands of large and small naming projects. Great Chinese names crafted in America can be top of the mind in China.

 

 

San Francisco's Chinatown

 

舊金山唐人街

三藩市唐人街

旧金山唐人街

San Francisco's Chinatown

 

舊金山唐人街

三藩市唐人街

旧金山唐人街

 

People and media have been talking about us:

 

Good Characters had been cited in several publications:

 

New York Times

Los Angeles Times

Sacramento Bee

Fresno Bee

The Business Journal

Fox News

Radio: KQED, Public Broadcasting for Northern California

Book: The Making of a Name: The Inside Story of the Brands We Buy

Book: The Name Game

 

 

 

Working with the Top Chinese Naming Experts

 

Good Characters will develop a comprehensive list of potential Chinese versions of your business name in as little as 14 days so you can register and protect your brand in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Good Characters. That’s who we are; that’s what we do; that’s how you win.

 

Tell us about your company, your brand, your products, your services, and your business aspirations regarding China. Our naming specialists will go to work creating a list of great name candidates for you.

 

Whether your style is to focus on what you do best and let the experts do their work or be fully involved in every step of the naming process, we are able to work with and for you and your company. We have been crafting Chinese names for over a decade. Our unsurpassed expertise in Chinese naming ensures your results will be not only successful, but exceptional.

 

 

Protect your brand name in China

 

A U.S. trademark does not protect you in China. We work with your team to create the best Chinese name so you can start the process of protecting your intellectual property rights (IPR) in China.

 

As the U.S. Commercial Service and the Department of Commerce advise, if you are seeking to distribute your products in China, it is essential that you register appropriate Chinese language versions of your trademark(s) well in advance of using them. Failing to act can have devastating consequences for future business and translate to expensive problems.

 

 

Protection

 

China has a first-to-file system that requires no evidence of prior use or ownership, leaving registration of popular foreign marks open to third parties.

 

Foreign companies should register appropriate Internet domain names and Chinese language versions of their trademarks.

 

Source: U.S. Commercial Service

 

 

Prevention

 

Develop and register a Chinese language version, and do so throughout the various jurisdictions of Greater China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, and Singapore.

 

If you do not create a Chinese mark, the market will do so, creating a Chinese “nickname” for your product. Your company may not like the image this mark projects, or someone else in China may like it so much they register it in their own name, forcing you to buy it back.

 

Source: U.S. Embassy Beijing

Serve  1,000,000,000  customers

 

The Chinese-speaking world is the world’s largest market for many products and services. Even in the U.S., Chinese is the third most frequently spoken language at home, following English and Spanish. To rise to the top of the global competition, it is crucial that you have a brand that is not only free from profane or negative associations in various Chinese languages (at a bare minimum), but that also speaks to the hearts of Chinese (so you won’t be lost in the crowd).

Request Naming Presentation

 

Information You Can Use To Brief Your Team:

 

The following is information you can use to brief your team about the significance of getting the best Chinese name for the brand and the company:

 

 

Why a Chinese name?

 

Because you want to protect your brand name in China and because you want to serve one billion customers.

 

 

 

Why Good Characters?

 

Startups, established brands, and Fortune 500 companies hire Good Characters because of our expertise, speed, and value:

 

Startups hire Good Characters because we’re fast, easy to work with, and within their budget.

 

  • Fast: Two weeks, not two months.
  • Easy to work with: Responsive via phone, text, and email.
  • Within budget: $10,000 to $25,000, not $75,000.

 

Established brands and billion-dollar companies hire Good Characters in tandem with their existing branding agency and as a redundancy because we provide more names in less time as well as the most in-depth analysis in the field. Chinese naming is our laser focus; it’s what we do.

 

Billion-dollar company CMOs are compelled to hire big name branding agencies because “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.” Smart executives hire Good Characters, Inc. in parallel to or as a backup for the large agencies because they know we provide more names faster and with in-depth analysis.

 

Experience:

 

For 15 years, Good Characters has helped global businesses from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, from the Silicon Valley to Shanghai, create Chinese names for their companies, their products, and their services. Our clients have been satisfied and return repeatedly for our services. The names we provide have enabled them to initiate powerful and profitable cultural connections with the Chinese.

 

 

Speed:

 

We provide some of the fastest Chinese naming, which is an advantage in the hyper-paced Chinese market. One Shanghai-based brand consultancy was described in a major newspaper as typically “arriving at a proper name” in “4 to 12 weeks.” That’s one to three months. We are able to deliver your name candidates within two weeks because we are technologically advanced, highly specialized, and efficient in Chinese naming. Our world-class first-mover clients demand quick turnaround times.

 

 

Transparency:

 

You’ll be informed at every step of the process. You will receive both a full list, typically thousands to tens of thousands of names, and a short list, typically our top 20 recommendations, weighted and ranked according to your branding criteria so you can immediately start the process of registering and protecting your brand name in China.

 

You and your team have the ability to access your password-protected project site to review, examine, and experiment with different variables and provide feedback on the Chinese name candidates.

 

You will appreciate having the in-depth naming report and presentations written in fluent English so you, your team, and your boss can make an informed naming decision.

 

 

Confidentiality:

 

All corporate projects are kept completely confidential. Our focus is on your name, not trumpeting ours. We’re happy to stay behind the scenes. Your data are never published except when you want us to publish limited information about your project for PR reasons.

 

 

Value:

 

Our fees compete well with those of other top brand agencies because:

 

We specialize:

 

Many agencies offer identity design, marketing, and other branding related services on top of naming. They have larger staffs and require directors and coordinators to manage more complex business structures. At Good Characters, we devote all our attention to creating the best Chinese names for you. We have a simple business model and a highly focused team. Even though we’re well compensated, you are not paying for extra staff time or extra bells and whistles.

 

Our operating cost is lower:

 

Agencies in big cities have impressive offices. We have a modest office in a small city. Our location mean less overhead. Its quiet environment surrounded by natural beauty is conducive to creativity, sparking higher quality ideas than would be generated in a noisy, distractive, urban setting.

 

 

 

One* Chinese name to rule them* all

 

One: Your consumers in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are in three different trademark jurisdictions but use the same Chinese language. We want to help you build a strong brand by developing one Chinese name that can be registered and protected in all three jurisdictions.

 

Them: A great Chinese name helps you differentiate and rule over all your competitors in Greater China.

 

 

 

Naming Q&A:

 

Q. Should I pay attention to the naming trend report?

 

A. Your Chinese brand name should not be trendy; it should communicate a long-term vision, be timeless, and be able to stand the test of time. The correct use of the trending report is to help you differentiate your name, not to follow any trend.

 

 

Q. I think paying $$$$$+ for a name is too much.

 

A. Spending $$$$$ to get the best name to double your one million-, ten million-, or a hundred million-dollar business investment or push it up 10 times in China is by no means expensive. Also the work takes about 100 hours. Your company could spend several times that amount just to put up signs. A business or brand name often lasts longer than a logo and a slogan. Slogans change frequently, logos change rarely, but a brand name hardly ever changes.

 

 

Q. What's the value of receiving a full list? I don't think I'll need it.

 

A. You can not only use a full list of brand name candidates for your current project, but it is potentially useful for future projects.

 

 

Q. Your proposal looks as good as and even better than ones from other agencies and your fee is better but we have to hire them because they are a much bigger firm.

 

A. Large agencies have more projects and more people to manage. Unless you’re one of their largest clients, you might not get their A team to work on your project. And you might not be their top priority. If your project gets pushed behind others, you may miss deadlines or lose opportunities. Besides, it costs more to work with a large agency. We’re your safer choice because we focus on delivering what is most important to you: the best possible Chinese versions of your name without bells and whistles that cost extra.

 

 

Q. Can I see a list of Chinese names you’ve developed in the past?

 

A. We work with individual companies and branding agencies on secret and not-so-secret projects. Many clients don’t want us to talk about their projects due to the competitive nature of their businesses. We have a policy of not saying anything so no one needs to worry about us leaking any information they do not want shared.

 

We do share some of our views, methods, and examples of individual naming with the general public.

 

 

Q. Can I do Chinese naming myself?

 

A. You can do Chinese naming but you will probably find it extremely difficult. It can be like running a marathon for the first time without months of training and trying to finish in the top 10. Remember what happened to the first person to run a marathon? He collapsed and died at the finish line! On average it takes 100 hours to do a thorough job of Chinese naming . . . unless you have a proprietary database and programs and algorithms that can cut the time down to 50 hours. Some things just can’t be accomplished in a short time. Most people treat do-it-yourself naming like fishing, trying ideas one by one. What you need is to cast the widest net; gather everything and then separate the good from the bad. Most people only have a fishing rod. We have a giant fishing boat with the latest sonar to locate the greatest number of the best ideas.

 

Brainstorming and generating tens of thousands of names is mostly science; picking the best ones, however, is art. You need an experienced guide or best names can slip through and all your effort is wasted.

 

Of course, if you’re lucky, you might come up with a great name without so much effort. But you should not depend on luck. Even casinos calculate odds and control the likely outcome. Don’t be a gambler. Be sure, like a casino.

 

 

Q. What are your recommendations for 
non-Chinese naming firms?

 

A. Catchword, Rivkin & Associates, Master-McNeil, Lexicon Branding, and A Hundred Monkeys.

 

 

 

Strategic advice for corporations

 

Good Characters knows the market and the psychology in Greater China. When you hire Good Characters, you build a Chinese brand that works. We know the importance of timing, positioning, and doing things right the first time.

 

Contact us for the following services

 

  • Chinese Naming
  • Name Evaluations
  • IPR Strategies
  • Services for Naming Firms



 

Evaluation

 

It’s important to run a Chinese linguistic test before deciding on a new name.

 

Are you considering a new company or brand name?

 

If so, it is important to run a Chinese linguistic test before deciding on a new name, even if you are not planning to launch your product in China. This is to minimize the chance of creating a name that sounds profane or has negative associations in one or more of the various Chinese languages.

 

A name should be tested in Mandarin (the official Chinese language), Taiwanese (also called Ming or Hokkien), and Cantonese. These are the three languages most widely spoken by Chinese in China and in countries that have a million or more Chinese in their populations—the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.

 

Contact us for comprehensive Chinese evaluation services.

 

 

Good Characters.
That’s who we are; that’s
what we do; that’s how you win.

 

Fifteen years of providing authentic Chinese characters for 3,000+ small businesses in North America and 45 countries worldwide. Created and Crafted in California, U.S.A.

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