Q: Sometimes when I shop on the local economy, I see many brand names or labels that look strikingly familiar, yet something’s not quite right with them. What’s up with that?

A: Many products are marketed in Europe under different names than that of their American counterparts. For example, perhaps you grew up eating Dannon yogurt stateside. In a German market, the label on a yogurt would look the same, but would read Danone. The Danone Group is the parent company, whereas Dannon is the name taken by the company’s founder when he entered the U.S. market in 1942.

Are you a fan of Oil of Olay? Buy it in Germany as Oil of Olaz. Same manufacturer, the global powerhouse of Procter and Gamble.

And what about that muscular bald guy with the white eyebrows and earring? Isn’t that Mr. Clean? Well, yes and no. In Europe, the cleaning is left to his twin, Mr. Proper. Again, same item and trademark, marketed under a different name.

If you’re in England, a department store by the name of T.K. Maxx sounds familiar. Yes, back in the USA you did know of a retailer by the name of T.J. Maxx. Both belong to the retail giant TJX Companies, Inc., and the style of the logo is identical.

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