The right name makes all the difference and there are several styles of naming that will help your brand resonate with your target audience, be memorable and help establish the company’s brand.

Descriptive

These names literally describe a brand’s offering. Often chosen when developing a suite of offerings under one larger brand. Descriptive names can sometimes cause confusion with your competition and they are also are very hard, if not impossible to get trademarked.

Google Maps
BMW 328i
Netflix

Acronyms/Abbreviations

Some companies may want to use long, descriptive name to identify who they are and what they do. Acronyms are often used to make longer names more friendly and easier to remember. In most cases, the customers are the ones who start using the acronym for their own convenience.

IKEA Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd
UPS – United Parcel Service
MTV – Music Television

Conjoined

A conjoined brand name occurs when a brand name contains more than one than word to form something new. Typically, the combined name gives two different meanings or understanding to the new. It’s a good alternative to an acronym, especially if you don’t want to deliberately spell out what you do, and still be clear and inventive.

FedEx
PayPal

Coca-Cola

Neological (Invented)

Why not create a new word? Another approach is putting together morphemes—the smallest unit of language that carries meaning.

While descriptive brand names make it easy for potential customers to find your competitors, neological can make it difficult for customers to find you. But with the right marketing, it becomes VERY easy, as the name is unique from the competition. Remember when Google first came about and we all thought “That’s a strange name”. But with a good marketing strategy it is now so popular, it’s even been added to the dictionary!

Google
Kodak

Wii

Metaphorical

A metaphor is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects. In naming, it’s a great way to imbue a car brand, for example, with the attributes of an animal. These names are surrounded with emotional words or feelings on how they want their customers to feel or how they differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Starbucks
Jaguar

Apple

Historical

If a brand has equity in its heritage, use it. Consider the name of the founder, or the first product ever launched. This method often has great “legs” and allows for meaning to be unpacked for years.

Adidas
Johnson & Johnson

Smuckers

 


Conclusion

Don’t forget that a business name plays a significant role in your business, but like a logo it is only one piece of what creates a successful company and a lasting brand.

*Read more on Building Your Brand Foundation >

*Read more on The Rules of Brand Naming >