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Written by : Jamie Mancina
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there are an estimated 300 million companies in the world today that's 300 million brands some brands as big as apple and coca-cola others are small as a one-person business with so many brands in the world it's getting harder to create and find a unique name so how do you create a great brand name how can you play and win the name game you start with three steps first select what type of name you want there are seven different categories of names and pretty much every brand in the world falls within one of these seven categories eponymous names like disney and burberry work by embodying the vision and beliefs of their founders these names are okay if you're feeling lazy or just have a big ego adidas is more unique it's derived from addie dassler the company's founder and tesla wasn't created by nicola tesla he died in 1943 but the name is an homage to tesla's electrical engineering achievements descriptive names like american airlines and the home depot work by telling you exactly what the company does but these names can be a mouthful and are much harder to own and protect acronyms like ge and bp are just shorthand versions of descriptive names some acronyms are more strategic kentucky fried chicken switched to kfc because fried chicken didn't sound too healthy and the hong kong and shanghai bank changed to eight that changed to hsbc to help the bank expand globally real words like uber and slack are ripped right out of a dictionary and suggest attributes or benefits uber literally means an outstanding example so it works well for a company with big broad bold ambitions beyond ride hailing now real words might seem like good ideas but in a world of 300 million companies it's getting harder to find a name it's hard to find any real words left in a dictionary composite names like facebook and ray-ban are created by gluing two words together these names have a kind of one-two punch and can be really memorable because it's so hard to find real words companies like kleenex and pinterest have invented names by changing adding or removing letters for impact now invented names can be highly unique but if you're not careful they can start to sound like pharmaceutical drugs or worse the name of a sofa from ikea associative names work by reflecting imagery meaning back to their back to the brand the amazon in south america is the world's largest river therefore the earth's biggest selection of books clothes content and so on sirius is the brightest star therefore the radio channels where you can hear the brightest stars of music and entertainment and red bull associates to a drink with bull like qualities such as power and confidence some brands are derived from non-english languages like samsung which means three stars in korean lego means play well in danish zappos comes from the spanish word sapatos for shoes and hulu comes i bet you didn't know that hulu actually comes from a chinese proverb a hulu is a bowl used to store precious things finally the seventh type is abstract names names like rolex and kodak these names have no intrinsic meaning but instead rely on the power of phonetics to create really powerful brand names okay so once you've decided what type of name you you want you need to decide what you want the name to say and look of course it's tempting to create names that talk about who created them or what you do or where you operate but the best brand names don't don't describe they stand for a big idea ones that translates into emotional appeal nike is about winning gopros about heroism apple is about simplicity and usability and google comes from the math term that's a one with a hundred zeros after it so that really big number helps support the company's really big original vision to organize the world's information so as you think about your new brand think carefully and ask yourself what's your big idea the third step is to check the name isn't already taken you might have to create hundreds of names perhaps thousands before you find one that's even available and of course don't forget to check the name means doesn't mean anything negative in other languages or countries the last thing you want is an embarrassing naming fail like this brand of toilet paper from sweden finally a few words about alphabet the parent company of google and now one of the world's most valuable companies much has been said and written about the the business strategy but i'll say a few words about the name is alphabet a great name you bet first of all the name is an idea as we all know an alphabet is a set of letters that forms the basis of all language and communication second the name provides a playful link back to the companies underneath g for google c for calico n for nest x and so on third the name encourages wall street investors buy this stock and you're making an alpha bet one that will outperform others and last of all the name is a real dictionary word which is a rare find these days now there was only one issue with alphabet car company bmw owned the url alphabet.com but you know here's the thing owningthe.com doesn't matter as much these days now that we find stuff through google search and we connect with brands through social media and smartphone apps so alphabet the company forgot about alphabet.com and instead found a shorter and more unique web address abc.xyz thank you thank you jonathan
Thanks for your comment Frederic Rauf, have a nice day.
- Jamie Mancina, Staff Member
Thanks for this interesting article
Thanks Florencio your participation is very much appreciated
- Jamie Mancina
About the author
I've studied osteology at Sterling College in Sterling and I am an expert in teleology. I usually feel infuriated. My previous job was legislative assistant I held this position for 15 years, I love talking about mazes (indoor/outdoor) and cycling. Huge fan of Leonardo Nam I practice shooting and collect vintage cars.
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