Whether the name of a company, product or service, the brand’s name is the first message potential buyers are exposed to. It is the first word of the first sentence of a story, and it carries the values and benefits of what is offered to customers and consumers. Creating a name, therefore, is one of the most important tasks in the life of a brand and an integral part of a successful branding process.
This is not a random process. It is a methodical, holistic and creative effort that includes a detailed analysis of a promise and the inspiration a product or service arouses among its target audience.
This important work, which is at the basis of any successful naming and branding strategy, starts with several challenging and experiential brainstorming sessions in which the brand and its environment are carefully analyzed to create a winning proposition.
Here are some examples of several brand-naming strategies that we use here at Contact with our customers.
Names Based on Founders
This category is self-explanatory. Here are some remarkable examples.
These are usually a mixture of two words that reflect the value or benefit of a brand.
Here at Contact, we came up with the name Igentify for a company that provides online generic consulting services. The name is a hybrid of the words ‘gene’ and ‘identify’.
In another project, we managed the rebranding process of a provider of integrated vehicle solutions that wanted more exposure in international markets. One of the decisions was to change the company’s name. The name selected was CARMOR, a juxtaposition of the words ‘car’ and ‘more’ (the ‘more’ being the assemblies the company integrates into to vehicles).
These names convey a sensation, a feeling that the brand wants to give to enable strong differentiation. These powerful names transmit an in-depth understanding of what the business and brand represent.
In one of our branding projects, we came up with the name Sol de Soul – the sun of the soul – for a designer of unique jewelry whose pieces brighten up the soul.
These are names that represent a geographical location, for example, where a company’s headquarters are located, where a product is manufactured or where a raw material is grown. The geography provides inspiration to the brand.
These names elicit an image in the mind of consumers, which usually evoke the practical benefits or advantages of the brand.
Rhymes and Plays on Words
These are names that can be easily remembered thanks to their catchy sound.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Sometimes, brand names formed by acronyms are less successful and more difficult to differentiate, leaving consumers indifferent. Other times, however, these acronyms or abbreviations create a completely new name which becomes alive. There are many famous brands that became popular by their long names, but whose acronym or abbreviation did not harm them at all!
History Repeats Itself
Brand names can also be based on a real or imaginary person, a historical figure, a character from a fairy tale or mythology, or a persona that was created especially for the brand.
And talking about Nike and history…
Did you know that the graphic designer commissioned to create the company’s logo was a young student who charged $2 an hour? She designed the Swoosh symbol for only $35. The owner didn’t like it at first. He had asked for something with movement, but thought the logo was too simplistic. The rest is, of course, history. Twelve years later, graphic designer Carolyn Davidson got a golden Swoosh ring with an embedded diamond and company stock.
By Irit Keren