The increasing prominence of China on the world stage and Cognito’s own footprint in Hong Kong have given me a front row seat to witness how China is becoming a world brand. Every week
we see game-changing innovation, the rise
of powerful companies and new technologies
launching from this market.
From Cognito’s office in Hong Kong, we’re taking
our own steps as a global communications and
marketing firm to reflect this evolution and
ensure we stay up to date – keeping abreast of
the latest developments and remaining relevant
as China’s influence increases.
To this end we recently launched Cognito’s
Chinese name, which we’re in the process of
rolling out across various platforms. What
we’ve learned along the way was fascinating
from both a human and business perspective.
Establishing the Chinese identity of a company
with strong roots in the west is not as simple as
just finding a name you like and printing some
A Chinese identity requires a truly Chinese name.
We looked for a name that matched a particular
confluence of criteria: one that made sense in
both Mandarin and Cantonese, wasn’t already
being used by another brand, and conveyed with
meaning the core of Cognito’s business while
retaining an echo of the existing name.
We chose 可通 – a name that combines two
characters that sound a little like “Cognito”.
There are a few ways to interpret the
meaning, but my preferred translation is
‘can communicate’. As is standard Chinese
practice, we’ve combined it with a further
two characters denoting our business sector.
This gives us our full name: 可通公关.
I’m still getting used to hearing ‘kě tōng
gōngguān’ and realizing we’re referring to
our Chinese brand. To be clear, this is the
Mandarin version written in Simplified Chinese.
We’ll of course also be using Cantonese and
Traditional Chinese versions depending on
what’s appropriate for the various markets
in Greater China.
We see this move as demonstrating how serious
we are about the region. Asia has always been
an important part of our global strategy. We
opened our first office in Singapore in 2010
and with our expansion into Hong Kong in 2017
established a second office in the region, giving
us easier access to North Asia.
We work with clients across the region
coordinating communications in more than
15 different markets for local and international
brands. In the past year alone members of the
team have been to Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai,
Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Shenzhen and Taipei
I expect this to accelerate in the coming year.
We’ll be operating inside the People’s Republic
more frequently, working with brands who want
to bring the best of China to the world, and the
best of the world to China.