in reply to Planning ahead for product name changes

Actually, Tadman brings up a good point, for the techniques that allow for rapid and flexible localization can greatly assist visual re-branding efforts as well. After all, if your logo is a resource and it changes, well, change the resource and you're done.

I've previously mentioned that I used to work for a commercial software vendor. Everything sold locally was translated into multiple languages and character sets. This was frequently a difficult task for the International team and they spent significant time and energy trying to teach the U.S.-based teams how to best make the localization process as painless as possible. Here's a set of guidelines (slightly amended with additional notes from my experience) they once distributed in the form of bookmarks:1

Now, yes, this was originally developed by a company that worked with Windows and DOS based operating systems; however, the same issues apply to Perl CGI scripts, HTML, and (AFAIK) just about any other technical production environment that might cross borders.

Also, name changes and re-branding efforts aren't limited to start-ups, you know. I've seen them happen in:

(I'm sure there are many other cases; these are just the ones I've run into during my career.)

In short, planning can make a tremendous amount of difference in many areas.



1 - By bookmark, I mean a small piece of laminated paper one uses to mark one's location in a paper book, not those virtual shortcuts one stores in their browser to flag interesting (or plain wierd) sites on the 'Net.