Chinese company renames itself to something insulting in the Chinese culture. Wait, really?
Given that, it's surprising to see a Chinese delivery company changing their name to Kwai Gou (快狗), or Fast Dog. The name change was not well received, with drivers protesting outside a local office, holding up placards saying "We want dignity! We are not dogs!"
The company explained that they didn't intend it to be insulting.
"By using the name, we want to let people know that we are a fast, reliable and trustworthy platform for freight logistics and ride hailing,” a spokesperson for Fast Dog said.
Although we sometimes see foreign companies commit cultural faux pas when entering an unfamiliar market, it's particularly surprising to see a Chinese company come up with a name which is insulting in the local culture and then provide a tone deaf explanation.
Usually the insight in this type of story would be to always find a local partner who can advise on local culture and issues, but that simply doesn't apply in this case.
Instead, it's a missed opportunity. A re-branding exercise is an excellent chance to engage with your employees so that they act as brand ambassadors, actively passing on positive information about the company to customers, friends and family. Instead, Fast Dog is having a very public, placard waving protest by their front-line staff - the very people who their customers see every day.
Photo credit: Facepalm