The Sticky Art of Brand Naming

The time has arrived for you to name your brand! You’re wondering should you use your own name? Or better yet maybe you should come up with some cool made up name that’s not out there in the market. But what if it doesn’t catch on? These questions sound familiar?

It should because it’s the same questions that everyone asks themselves when naming their new business. Before we dive in trying to get funky with the names let's talk about the different types of brand names first.

Descriptive Names

The classic style of brand naming that simply describes what the company does. The challenge with this kind of name is that it’s constricting, it’s as good as it’s name. Some examples are Toys R Us and Paypal


These are names derived from descriptive names. Tech companies are known for acronyms. IBM, SAP, HP are some of global giants we recognize today. Not many of us know what these letters really stand for but we know exactly what kind of products or services each of these companies offer.  

Made Up Name

Made up names are great in that they don’t come with any stigmas. But the tricky part about it is that you want to avoid using Latin or Greek words when you make up your brand’s name because it will take tremendous marketing dollars to educate the audience. Some examples of made up names are: Acura, Kodak, and Xerox.

Experiential Names

Brand with experiential names such as Virgin and Caterpillar are based on the feeling or experience that they want customers to feel when using their products. This type of name can be quite powerful because in today’s market where consumers are collecting experiences this may be provide you with the extra boost.

Founder’s Name

Using the founder's name is probably the easiest way to name your brand. What’s great about this is that most likely the founder will already have a personal brand which exists and cross promoting their business and personal brand makes it easier to get your brand out there.

So how do you know if you got a name that a winner? Here’s the ultimate quick and easy way to test your new name:

When you asses your brand you need to consider

  • Distinctiveness: How does your name compare to your competitors?

  • Sound: When you say it out loud how does it sound? Is it easy to pronounce?

  • Stickiness: Is the name easy to remember?

  • Expression: Does your name match your brand’s personality?

  • Appearance: When you print it out using the Helvetica font 30 font size how does it look like? Is it easy on the eyes?

Decide what your name needs to accomplish and make sure it aligns with your brand’s core values. You will need to be clear as to which kind of brand name you’re going to go with descriptive, expressive, acronym, etc. and start naming.