A brand must represent a company's image in the mind of consumers. It must be memorable. It must 'sound right'. It must suit the cultural context in which it is perceived.
For brands with a global presence, it is usually the case that the localized brand name should be easily recognizable as the localized version of the original brand name. This is done so that marketing messages given in different languages all add to the brand equity. In the case of Chinese consumers, they won't only see the Chinese brand name, but might also be exposed to the English brand name. Even though the Chinese brand will be promoted in China, they'll likely see the English brand name on the Internet, in movies, on TV, etc. For this reason, we usually want the Chinese brand name to easily be identifiable as the localization of the English name. Know what I mean?
The problem is, that can be really, really tough to do! Many English sounds cannot be fully realized in Chinese. Combinations of words and components cannot be fully translated. It may be difficult keeping the Chinese brand name brief while maintaining meaning. Seemingly simple translations may result in awkward wording or awful cultural faux pas.
Localizing a brand name into Chinese in such a way that it flows both with the original English name and with Chinese culture is a tricky thing to do and is properly handled by a team with expertise in marketing and localization.
Groupon chose the brand name 高朋 (Gaopeng) for China. Here's why I think this is an excellent name:
Interestingly, the second half of the idiom, "manzuo", is in use by Manzuo.com, one of Groupon's competitors in China.
As a disclaimer, I'll have to mention that I didn't research the brand name Gaopeng nearly as carefully as we do when doing professional Chinese brand name localizations at Nanjing Marketing Group. I certainly could have missed something. For example, I didn't search to see if other businesses are using the "Gaopeng" name or do any survey on the opinions of Chinese consumers. The opinion on the Gaopeng name wasn't a team effort either, it's just my personal view. When choosing an actual brand name, it's always essential to consider the viewpoints of multiple people.