A Leading Professional Network of Elites

LinkedIn Chinese Brand Name Creation

Labbrand successfully created 领英 [lĭng yīng], a Chinese brand name that matches the phonetics of LinkedIn, capturing the attention of the Chinese audience through its simplicity and creativity. This accomplishment showcases the remarkable influence of brand naming and strategic brand localization, particularly when a brand venturing into the Chinese market.


LinkedIn faced a significant challenge when it came to expanding its membership base in China. Despite being the world's largest professional network, with over 300 million members spanning every Fortune 500 company and 200 countries, LinkedIn recognized the need for a more targeted approach to connect with the Chinese audience. To achieve this goal, the company tasked Labbrand with the critical mission of creating a Chinese brand name, tailored to resonate with the unique cultural context and language of Chinese consumers.  


We conducted 3 rounds of name creation along with linguistic checks in Mandarin and 5 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 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 brand 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.