Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Italy's got a branding problem

When I tell people about my Fourth of July trip to Genova, I get a few blank stares. But if I say, "You know, Genoa?" the lights come on. Pesonally, I wasn't even sure which pronunciation was Italian until I visited myself and saw Genova on all the road signs.

You see this problem every once in a while in Europe. Paris is still Paris even when it's Par-ee. The native Germans call Munich "M√ľnchen" which is fine, but I don't know why they call French-speaking Geneva "Genf."

Still, no country is as all over the place as Italy.

EASY
Rome = Roma
Milan = Milano

MODERATE
Genoa = Genova
Turin = Torino

DIFFICULT
Florence = Firenze
Venice = Venezia

Clearly, Italy has no brand manager. Imagine Coca-Cola being called Cooala-Cokie in Bologna, or someone in Padova bumming a Marlbrizio cigarette from you.

I'm not saying Italians should call Firenze Florence. But Italy definitely needs to impose some brand guidelines.

1 comment:

flaviabrevi84 said...

And you haven't seen yet our tourism website: http://www.italiantourism.com.
Of course we don't have a brand manager! ;-)