7 July 2022

Fashion and retail brands top the list of most ‘Googled’ brand name pronunciations

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Emma-Louise Jones

Emma-Louise Jones

Emma-Louise Jones is digital PR manager at Ciphr. She is a member of the PRCA and has worked in PR, communications and marketing for over 15 years.

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People in the UK are more likely to Google the correct pronunciations of fashion brands and retailers than any other types of brand names, according to a new study using Google search data.

HR software provider Ciphr (pronounced Sy-fuh), which conducted the research to support the launch of its new logo, analysed 5,820,400 search queries that mentioned the terms ‘how to pronounce…’, ‘how do you pronounce…’, and ‘pronunciation…’ to identify the top 40 most searched for brand name pronunciations in the UK over the past 12 months.

Casual dining chain Chipotle, online fast-fashion retailer Shein, and sportswear giant Nike (pronounced Chip-oat-lay, She-in, and Ni-key respectively) were the three most-searched-for brands that people wanted to know how to pronounce correctly, with a combined 8,150 average monthly searches.

Luxury brands Moët (pronounced Mo-wet rather than Mo-way), Hermès (pronounced Er-mez) and Porsche (pronounced Por-shuh) were Google users’ next three most common brand name pronunciation queries, followed by L’Occitane (pronounced Lox-ee-tan), Adidas (pronounced Ah-dih-dahs), Krispy Kreme (pronounced Krisp-ee cream) and Peugeot (pronounced Puh-jo).

These 10 brands combined account for an average of 18,980 pronunciation-related monthly searches on Google.

It’s not just people in the UK who find certain pronunciations challenging though. A search of the global pronunciation dictionary Forvo reveals that the words Chipotle, Nike, Moët, Hermès, Porsche, L’Occitane, Adidas, Krispy Kreme, and Peugeot have been listened to a combined 3,384,100 times (no comparable data was available for Shein).

Many of these global brands are, of course, well aware – and acknowledge – that their names are susceptible to being misspoken. Or, at least, pronounced differently by different people in different countries. To counter this, many have shared instructions and videos on their UK social media channels on how to phonetically pronounce their brand names properly.

Over half (57%) of the top 40 brand names in the list compiled by Ciphr, with a combined 21,640 average monthly searches, belong to fashion brands or retailers, such as Napapijri, IKEA, LOEWE, and Primark (pronounced Na-pa-peeh-ree, Ee-kay-uh, Loh-wev-eh, and Pr-eye-mark respectively).

The next most searched type of brand were food and beverage producers (15%), including Freixenet, Laphroaig, Nutella, and Old Mout Cider (pronounced Fresh-eh-net, La-froyg, New-tell-uh, and Ohld Moot Sy-duh respectively).

Around 10% of the top 40 most searched for brand-related pronunciations are car manufacturers, with Hyundai (pronounced High-unn-digh in the UK, rather than Hun-day like it is in the US) and Škoda (pronounced Shko-dah) among those included.

Technology and hospitality brands account for 15% of the searches (7.5% each), including, interestingly, Google itself, which amassed 1,050 average pronunciation-related monthly searches (it’s pronounced Goo-guhl). The only pharmaceutical brand to be included in the top 40 list was Pfizer (pronounced F-eye-zer), although many Google users may possibly have been searching for the pronunciation of the new brand name of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, which was announced last August (Comirnaty).

The top 25 most searched for brand name pronunciations, ranked by average monthly searches on Google, are:

wdt_ID Most searched for brand name pronunciations How to pronounce Average monthly searches on Google Times listened to on Forvo
1 Chipotle Chip-oat-lay 2,990 130,000
2 Shein She-in 2,770 0
3 Nike Ni-key 2,390 274,000
4 Moët Mo-wet 2,290 39,100
5 Hermès Er-mez 1,850 58,000
6 Porsche Por-shuh 1,530 742,000
7 L'Occitane Lox-ee-tan 1,520 312,000
8 Adidas Ah-dih-dahs 1,440 219,000
9 Krispy Kreme Krisp-ee cream 1,130 10,000
10 Peugeot Puh-jo 1,070 1,600,000

David Richter, director of marketing at Ciphr, says: “Ciphr recently introduced its new look logo as part of a wider brand refresh. One key aspect of this is that our company name, which is pronounced Sy-fuh, is now written in lowercase as one word. Previously, it was an all-caps acronym (CIPHR), which has, admittedly, caused people to stumble over its pronunciation at times over the years.

“To help reinforce the slightly unusual pronunciation of our brand name in an interesting way, we decided to research which brand name pronunciations are searched for most often in the UK – and supply some tips on how they are usually pronounced. Surprisingly, the latter wasn’t quite as simple as it sounds, as many brand name pronunciations are hotly debated online, even when coming directly from the source, while many have no definitive ruling from the brands themselves.

“Either way, it’s been fun compiling our top 40 list of the most searched for brand name pronunciations in the UK. Why not take a look and see how many you are pronouncing differently?”

A quiz based on the top 10 most searched for brand name pronunciations is available at https://www.ciphr.com/brand-name-pronunciation-quiz.

The full top 40 list of the most-searched-for brand name pronunciations in the UK, including pronunciation tips and Google search statistics, is available to view at https://www.ciphr.com/most-searched-for-brand-name-pronunciations-in-the-uk-2022.

Ciphr is a specialist provider of cloud-based HR, payroll, recruitment and learning software. More than 650 organisations use its people management solutions globally across the public, private and non-profit sectors.

For more information, please visit www.ciphr.com.

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Media enquiries:
Emma-Louise Jones, digital PR manager at Ciphr
e: [email protected]
t: 01628 244206

David Richter, director of marketing at Ciphr
e: [email protected]
Website: www.ciphr.com
Twitter: @ciphrhrsoftware
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ciphr

Notes:

Google search data (via Semrush) as of 22 June 2022:

Keyword Total volume of searches All keywords
How to pronounce […] 1,810,340 110,263
Pronunciation […] 3,716,290 328,822
How do you pronounce […] 293,770 21,986

Forvo.com listen to figures were collated by Ciphr on 22 June 2022.

Ciphr is a specialist provider of SaaS HR, payroll, recruitment and learning software through its HCM platform, Ciphr Connect. Ciphr’s cloud-based solutions help busy HR teams to streamline their processes across the entire employee lifecycle and spend more time working strategically.

Ciphr Connect enables seamless integration, not only across Ciphr’s own solutions but also with an ecosystem of specialist, third-party tools using its modern API technology.

Ciphr Group is a privately held company, headquartered in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Over 200 employees work across the group, which includes Ciphr, Digits LMS and Payroll Business Solutions (PBS).

Ciphr spokespeople are available to provide expert media comment on a broad range of topics, including HR strategy, people management, employee experience and wellbeing, learning and development, the future of work, tech trends, business and leadership, marketing, and more.

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