Free Tea


Brand naming can be a fraught business that appropriates foreign languages to provide a veneer of sophistication. This can often lead to hilarious ‘Engrish or Japlish’ brand names targeted at unsuspecting Japanese consumers.

Conversely some names look and sound right, but on further inspection are a source of confusion for English speakers.

The word ‘free’ has several definitions one of which is ‘without charge’ or ‘gratis’. The French telecoms giant Free provides Wi-Fi, which is anything but ‘free’ and a source of bewilderment for the 80 million + tourists visiting France each year.

The brand naming process should involve considerable cultural and semantic research, which will highlight critical ambiguities and issues to save time and potentially huge amounts of money. In both cases ‘Freedom’ would have sufficed to dodge this cultural bullet……….