How to create a great brand name | Jonathan Bell

Sharing buttons:

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 smaller

than 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 its derive from Adi Dassler

the company's founder and Tesla wasn't

created by Nikola 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 hate HSBC to help the

bank expand globally real words like

uber and slack a rip 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 had it hard is

hard to find any real words left in the

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


of invented names by changing adding or

removing letters for impact

now inventing 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 there 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 light 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 ball

used to store precious things finally

the seventh type is a abstract names

names like Rolex and encoder these names

have no intrinsic meaning but instead

rely on the power of phonetics to create

really powerful brand names okay so once

you decided what type of name 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 Nikes 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


finally a few words about alphabet the

parent company of Google are now one of

the world's most valuable companies much

has been said and written about the

business strategy but I'll say a few

words about the name is alphabet a great


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 and finessed 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

only the dot-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 calm and instead

found a shorter and more unique web

address ABC dot XYZ thank you

Thank You Jonathan