Chinese Brand Name Creation

Labbrand created LinkedIn's Chinese name, conveying its leadership and elite.


Officially launched in 2003, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with over 300 million members, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, in over 200 countries and territories around the world.

In order to boost its member base in China, LinkedIn wanted to establish a Chinese name and identity for the Chinese audience. In 2012, LinkedIn appointed Labbrand to create the Chinese verbal identity and integration strategy.


We conducted three rounds of name creation along with linguistic checks in Mandarin and five major Chinese dialects to ensure the name is suitable for consumers. In China, brands often run into potential problems with trademarking their Chinese brand name. Thus, on the legal side, we also conducted Smart Legal Check to ensure that the brand name is available for trademark. LinkedIn’s Chinese brand name is simple, easy to read, and memorable. The final name chosen is 领英 [lĭng yīng]. With 领 [lĭng] meaning "to lead" and 英 [yīng] meaning "elites", the name 领英 [lĭng yīng] conveys LinkedIn's key attributes such as leadership and elite.

In the qualitative and quantitative tests, 领英 received dominant acknowledgement and preference from Chinese consumers. The meaning of "leading elite" is very different from the brand's global positioning "connect everyone". This provided precious market insights and sparked ideation for the LinkedIn brand team: in the chaotic category context crowded by small recruiting websites and grass-roots social platforms, Chinese professionals sought a platform with international vision and authority.

The name 领英 and the insights it brought to the fore laid a solid cultural foundation for LinkedIn to further develop its positioning for the Chinese market.


In February 2014, LinkedIn announced its official entry in China along with the Chinese name 领英 and the beta version of LinkedIn China site Today, China has become LinkedIn's fastest growing market with 13 million users by the end of 2015.