Thursday, January 19, 2017

Naming Brands

Developing a strong brand name is more difficult than it would seem. Here is what I look for in a strong brand name:

  • It is associative descriptive, that is, it alludes to the promised customer benefit. 
  • Or it is completely coined. That is, it has no other meanings. 
  • It is short - one or two syllables per word and no more than two words.
  • It is not an acronym. 
  • It is easy to remember.
  • It is easy to spell.
  • It is easy to pronounce.
  • It is alliterative.
  • It is unique. It stands out.
  • It has no unintended negative meanings.
  • It is surprising, shocking or unexpected.
  • It conjures up positive emotions.
  • The sounds created by its letters convey a feeling that relates to the brand or the intended customer.
  • It is legally protectable. 
  • Its URL is available. 

Here are some of my favorite brand names. Consider which of the above criteria each of these names best deliver on.
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • BestBuy
  • BlackBerry
  • Cinnabon
  • Crayola (crayons)
  • Dove
  • DieHard
  • Dunkin' Donuts
  • Hotmail
  • Jaguar
  • KitchenAid
  • Kodak
  • Lean Cuisine
  • PlayStation
  • Slim Fast
  • Tesla
  • Virgin
  • Weight Watchers
  • Wrangler


  1. Just wondering, your list is culture independent... What about culture and it's impact on Brand Names? And it doesn't mention language, making this applicable Only to the English world (as in native English. India isn't native English)

    1. You are right. I omitted that by mistake. If one is creating a global brand, one must make sure that it is pronounceable in other languages and that it does not have unintended or negative meanings in those languages.

  2. That said , the article is a value add, a thoughtful read