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Names matter.

A name is one thing you should get right, right from the start.

Considering how much time your parents must have spent deciding upon your name, names of people and yes, products are pretty much – hard to decide.

So what really comes in mind when you think of a name?


For example, Coke and Pepsi advertise across all mediums, everywhere, equating soft-drinks and colas with their brand names. Just Do It is synonymous to Nike. A Mercedes exudes luxury even with its name.

A strong brand leads the mind. When you name something, an instant connection lights up, usually meaning that it creates some kind of brand recognition.

brandsThe highest ‘top of the mind recall’ with the consumer – in the form of an image, or a sound or a name or an attribute – is what sets the product apart from scores of alternate or similar looking products.


That is why brands find it extremely challenging to rename anything when they create a substantial name recognition or brand equity. For instance, that’s why we still have American Airlines living on despite of it being part of a new company through its combination with U.S. Airways. And this again is a reason why actors hold on to their stage names even if their real names are somewhat different.

Here are a few principles to consider while naming a product or a brand:


Standing out

The name you select should be able to strategically stand out amidst competitors. Make sure it conveys its unique positioning by sounding very unlike the names selected by the competition.


Appealing to your Audience

The name you choose for your brand or product must hold a certain level of appeal for the audience demographic you wish to engage with. From a purely linguistic perception, it is ideal to combine phonemes, morphemes and syntax to create a verbal representation of the brand or product. For instance, Hubba Bubba chewing gum is more likely to attract a 6 year old than a 60 year old, more for the name than the product category.


Highlighting an Attribute

Your name should be able to imply an innate attribute, benefit or quality of the product in question.


Acquiring Legal Protection and Trademarks

Make sure that the name you choose is available for legal protection and “trademark”. There are agencies that can help you file the brand name as a registered trademark and make sure that the given name doesn’t already exist under various product categories. If you intend to acquire the name from an existing entity, make sure the process is pursued by the letter of the law.


Encouraging Loyalty

The name you choose should be able to encourage a loyal relationship between customers and the companies.


Creating a Name that is Conducive to Image Associations

The name should be able to effectively incorporate a symbolic association that strengthens the image of the product or brand among consumers.


Finally, the core objective of any brand or product name is to encourage customers to buy the product or service. Make sure that the name you select helps you achieve this. You can do so by employing strategies such as use of acronyms, amalgams, alliterations, clever statements, humour or slang among many other techniques.

Axel Balakrishnan

Written By Axel Balakrishnan

Axel is a co-founder of Codelattice and heads the MARCOMM unit. Perfection in creativity is his motto. He frequently blogs his thoughts on Branding, social media, strategy and Marketing. You can connect with him through

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