3 Types of Brand Names and tips to come up with one

3 Types of Brand Names and Tips on Coming Up With One

Creating a name that is recognisable, symbolic and captures a brand’s philosophy is no easy feat. In this article, I would like to help you understand the various type of brand names that the marketplace is made up of and share some quick tips on how to create one.

Not every name is made the same. Generally, they are divided into 3 fundamental categories:

Descriptive brand names

These are names that have the product or service in the name, and generally leave little room for ambiguity. They are names like Costa Coffee, General Motors, WeTransfer, etc.

By hearing that name, you know exactly what this business provides to its customers. These names are very effective as they don’t require any explanation or branding support. However, they are not always the wisest choice for a business, it really depends on what the vision for that particular brand is.

Suggestive brand names

These names usually suggest the service or product this business offers in a metaphorical or symbolic way. They are typically created in a way that the name builds upon an already established knowledge of its potential customers. They are names such as AirBus, NetFlix, Facebook, Marketeasers, they all suggest a hint to what this brand is about.

For example, NetFlix, can be translated as Network of Flicks. While the latter would be descriptive, NetFlix isn’t and is a creative way to hint what the business offers. Another one is AirBus, buses in the air, right? Well, there is some humour in that, but also a very concrete idea behind it. Marketeasers is also a suggestive business name, you can see it as Market Easers, but also Marke-t-easers, all evoking what this brand provides to its customers.

They are very popular as they have a bit of both, they are inventive and original but cleverly hint at their meaning through smart symbolism.

Inventive brand names

These names are usually non-representational, invented or non-suggestive, so by default without prior knowledge about that brand, you won’t be able to know what this business offers.

These are brands such as Apple, Amazon, McDonald’s, Adidas, Armani, Miroslavo. They are highly original names, however, you have to first know what this business offers, sometimes even its background and history in order to understand the origin of the name.

These type of abstract or empty vessel names also require the most brand building and need to always inform its customer about its offer. They are best used for a business that wants to have the highest flexibility and creative freedom in establishing its meaning.

Coming up with one

While some business owners opt to do it themselves, which can be fine in some scenarios, it’s risky because if done incorrectly, it can hinder one’s marketing efforts and business development further down the line. If you decide to go the DIY road, I would give you a few tips:

  • Establish your brand’s identity
  • Do extensive research of the market you will be in
  • Define what kind of brand type you would like to use
  • Think about your future customers
  • How will the brand name function in your marketing efforts
  • Generate as many names as possible until you have found one that you connect with
  • Choose a name with low or zero competition
  • Check domain availability

These are just a few quick tips to follow. Sometimes, it’s wise to hire a branding agency, especially when the project you want to launch is something you will be investing a lot of passion, time, and money into. Also, having a branding consultant to bounce ideas off is a great way to clarify your vision, brand identity and foundational philosophy of your company.


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