Kraft’s decision to name its snacks division “Mondelez International” left the media with two key questions. The first question: How is it pronounced? Does one say MOHN-dah-lezz? Mohn-DAH-lezz? Mohn-dah-LEEZ? (The correct answer is the latter.) The second question: What does it mean? Pronunciation aside, the name is not intuitive and does not clearly convey a meaningful association. (The name is derived from the words “mundus,” Latin for “world,” and “delez,” a proxy for the word “delicious.”)
The questions related to the pronunciation and meaning of Kraft’s new brand raise valid points. But the first question one should ask is: What is the brand’s target audience? According to Kraft Foods Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld, the Mondelez brand will offer “a solid foundation for the strong relationships we want to create with our consumers, customers, employees and shareholders.” This still does not answer the fundamental question—namely, whether Mondelez is destined to become a consumer brand or if it will remain purely a corporate brand. If the former is true, then the pronunciation and meaning-related issues remain. If, however, Mondelez is destined to be a corporate brand only, then the above issues are moot.