How To Come Up With A Brand Names: The Ultimate Guide

how to come up with a brand name
77% of people make purchases based on brand name only.

Name is one of your brand’s most valuable assets. It is how your customers remember, know and refer to your business, and it is how they get to trust it.

As many as 77% of the people purchase products whose brand names they recognize.

And as many as 75% of people would pay more for a product whose name they recognize and trust.

On the business side of things, name recognition plays an important role in securing funding as 82% of investors admit that it is an important factor in investment decisions.

In this guide, we’ll look at the key characteristics of a memorable name, as well as the key principles experts use when naming a brand.

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Top Characteristics Of Successful Brand Names

Most world-renowned brands have shared qualities that play to their identity and memorability. These qualities will help you critically assess your options and guide you in your brand naming process:

1. Good Brand Names Are Simple And Memorable

A big part of creating a powerful business identity and branding strategy is finding a name that the target audience can remember.

study that looked at 700 stocks traded between 1990 and 2004, and concluded that brands with simple names earned at least 11% more than those with complex ones.

There are many examples to support this. Think:

  • Dove
  • Olay
  • Twix
  • Pepsi
  • Nike
  • Reebok
  • Google
  • Apple
  • HP

The percentage of earnings brands with simple names have

2. Successful Names Are Futureproof

Businesses and brands evolve, so when coming up with brand name ideas that won’t become obsolete fast, it is important to think about the big picture.

In other words: Do not use highly specific brand names if you are unsure how your business would brand out in the future.

For example, Women’secret is a highly specific name for a women’s lingerie brand which would make it difficult to diversify the offering and cater to male demographics under the same roof.

Amazon, on the other hand, is a prime example of a company that outgrew its original purpose but had a name flexible enough to encompass a highly diverse inventory the company is now known for.

3. Good Brand Names Are Original

Following the key principles is great, but ultimately, your brand name should represent your unique identity.

Your name can tell a story, carry a legacy or entertain.

Take Adidas: Its unique name was inspired by its founder Adolph “Adi” Dassler name.

BMW is an acronym for its widely unknown original German name Bayerische Motoren Werke.

The more you learn about them, the more you realize that every great brand name has a unique story behind it.

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How To Come Up With A Brand Name Using These Key Principles

The key approach to naming your brand is to start with the big ideas and then go small and specific. That is why, before thinking about the actual name, there are several things that need defining first.

Focus On Your Audience

64% of customers said that shared values are the primary reason they trust a brand.

Knowing your target audience will help you:

  • Find inspiration: Identify your target market’s favorite brands and draw inspiration for your own.
  • Find a voice: Let your audience help you find your identity and voice. This will play an important role in name selection.
  • Connect: Basing your name on your target market’s preferences will increase your brand’s likeability.

Specifically, brands whose target audience is generally not familiar with the types of products or services they are offering more often use abstract names to convey moods or activities associated with them. Because their demographics are low on product or service knowledge, it’s all about selling the brand – not product or service.

Brands with high-knowledge shoppers have “muted” names that allow customers to focus more on the measurable quality of the product and service rather than rely on the name.

Fashion brands, for instance, are often named after their founders (Dior and Chanel, for instance). Their names imply and highlight the quality rather than project an association or image.

In the case of high-knowledge shoppers, it’s the intrinsic quality of the product that sells. The name is a factor, but not as big.

The number of consumers who trust brands primarily because of shared values

Find Your Brand Archetype

The concept of an archetype is derived from Jungian psychology and frequently applied to branding ideas. It refers to a universally familiar character that helps experts infuse brands with personality customers can relate to.

To apply this concept to your name, start by thinking about your:

  • Audience’s collective persona: Who is this persona? What do they look like? What do they sound like?
  • Brand’s persona: How does it (or will it) resemble that of your audience’s persona or their aspirations?

There are twelve main brand archetypes:

  • The Innocent (the desire for safety)
  • Everyman (belonging)
  • Hero (mastery)
  • Outlaw (liberation)
  • Explorer (freedom)
  • Creator (innovation)
  • Ruler (control)
  • Magician (power)
  • Lover (intimacy)
  • Caregiver (service)
  • Jester (enjoyment)
  • Sage (understanding)

To find your archetype, consider these questions:

  • What brand values do you want to communicate?
  • Is there a historical/mythical personification of the said values?
  • Do you want to bring a sense of luxury or affordability to your customers?
  • What are the non-verbal and emotional associations you want to create for your brand?

Here are some real-life examples of archetypes used to build a brand image:

  • Nike: This well-known apparel label is also the name of the ancient Greek goddess who personified victory.
  • Dove: Doves conjures the images of purity and softness – qualities of the Innocent archetype.
  • Channel: A brand of the Lover archetype maintains an amorous atmosphere in marketing campaigns.

Companies build the meaning of the name through stories, products, marketing activities and visual associations.

Some of these names use phonetic symbolism to support their archetype.

Reflect The Tone And The Function Of Your Offering

The name can set a certain tone which becomes a character and attitude of a business.

The brand tone has two primary functions:

  • To speak to your audience
  • To reflect your business goals and needs

A defined tone can give you control over your audience’s perception of your brand. Some of the tones you can employ are:

  • Emotional: EveryHand and Sharing Spoon
  • Intriguing: RocketSlice, Alchemitics, Ethica
  • Playful: Blink Of An AI, Playformance, The Whey to Go
  • Pragmatic: Rentcierge, Simple Key Realty, The Tea Shack
  • Innovative: Apple, Netflix, Amazon
  • Prestigious: Dior, Cartier, Swarovsky

Check The Availability Of A Potential Business Name

57% of customers say they’re more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media. Businesses must strive to choose a name that is available across platforms.

  • Do a domain name search with multiple providers.
  • Look for companies using similar name on social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Make sure your potential names are not trademarked.
  • Think carefully about the extension of your internet domain – make .com, .net and .org a priority, if they are available.

When looking at legal availability of your desired name and registration of the website domain, bear in mind that, thanks to advanced SEO and brand signals, it’s not as important any longer to choose the name of the brand based on available domain names at it used to be.

The number of of customers who say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow

Tips For Generating Brand Name Ideas

When considering how to come up with brand name ideas that speak to your audience persona and represent your archetype, there are certain principles that make the process more streamlined and simpler:

  • Keep the brand name simple: Ideally, it should be a two-syllable word as they have a better-staying power in the minds of customers.
  • The name should also be descriptive: the reason why archetypes convey emotions with people is that they capture the collective essence and experience. That’s how descriptive a brand name should be – it should communicate essence, experience and benefits of the brand’s products in a suggestive manner.
  • Use word association to brainstorm good brand name ideas: Write down as many words as you can think of that are in some way associated with your brand. These can be combined or narrowed down to a few which can be worked on and tested.
  • The name should be trendy, but not too much trendy: Something that is “in” today may be completely “out” tomorrow. Strive to have a name that contemporary people can relate to and that will endure the years ahead.

Final Takeaways For Coming Up With A Brand Name

The main benefits of coming up with a good name are:

  • It adds value to your products and services
  • It lends identity to your business
  • Good brands become synonymous with products they make
  • It drives sales and revenue

What are the traits of a successful brand name?

  • They are simple and memorable
  • They are future-proof
  • They are original

The main steps to consider when coming up with a brand name are:

  • Collect the broad set of ideas of what it is that makes your business. Think about your story, your origins and your big ambitions and ideas.
  • Think of a name that caters to the aesthetics and values of your audience as well as your business ambitions.
  • Tap into your brand archetype and your audience persona to find your voice and messaging.
  • The brand tone should speak to your audience and reflect your business tendencies.
  • When brainstorming the name ideas, try to be trendy, but not overly trendy.

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The Top Branding Agencies From Around The World, a B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies, rounded up the top local and global branding companies who can build successful brand identities that foster long-term business growth.

The top branding firms from around the world include:

1.    Superbase

SUPERBASE is a branding, design, and strategy consultancy that believes good design is good for business. More importantly, it’s good for humankind. As the only strategy-centric design studio with their distinctive process, SUPERBASE helps brands in competitive markets or industries amplify their brand uniqueness and clarify their message. Founded in 2016 by Creative Director Kelly Dee Williams, they are headquartered in Boise, Idaho and maintain the agility of a boutique agency with the experience required to work with clients ranging from early startups to internationally revered brands.

2.    Aqomi

Aqomi is an international agency that’s headquartered in Canada and specializes in beautiful, commercially-effective design. With over 12 years of experience in the industry, Aqomi helps companies build massive followings of dedicated promoters by reviewing the market landscape branding for success. Aqomi’s offerings include branding, brand strategy, package design, website design.

3.    Concept Envy

Concept Envy’s focus is brand development, and their craft is digital content marketing. They are a team of adventure-driven talented creatives, techs, and storytellers. For over 10 years, they have been devoted to creating meaningful brand experiences in the digital world. They specialize in action sports, B2B, and consumer brand markets.

4.    Envicion Studio Sdn Bhd

Envicion began its journey as a graphic studio in 2009, with a business address in Puchong. After a few years, they spread their wings to two business suites in both Bukit Jalil and Bangsar, venturing into digital designs and branding. Offering end-to-end services from graphics to digital design and digital marketing, Envicion has grown twice in size and their revenue has jumped 300% year-over-year.

5.    Evviva Brands

Evviva Brands opened its doors in September of 2009 with a simple mission: To help clients increase their brand value from the inside out. They started during the worst economy since the 1930s. They knew it was nervy to start a people-centered business with unemployment at record levels and people being laid off in the hundreds of thousands monthly. But Evviva Brands also knew if they could succeed when times were tough, they would have built a worthy business.

6.    Identity Marketing Group

Identity Marketing Group is a complete promotional brand marketing agency that designs products and solutions for corporations and organizations across North America that include Fortune 500 corporations and smaller companies.

7.    Kellenfol Advertising S.L.

Kellenföl Advertising® is a strategic creative & independent agency. They create concepts, brands, products, stories, and experiences. In order to achieve this, the agency offers integrated advertising, marketing, communication design, brand strategy, digital environments, art direction, web design, technology, video, VFX, CGI, and special events.

8.    Loka Design Co

Loka Design Co is a branding and web design studio located in Southern California that works with clients around the world. They practice classic, timeless graphic design that exists outside the flow of trend. Their goal is to create intimate, tailored branding and visual identity experiences. Loka believes that the best inspiration comes from having experiences while out in the world and that the happiest people are the most productive.

9.    Margaux Agency

The Margaux Agency is a modern branding and social media marketing agency for companies looking to increase their profits and connect with customers. They strive to meet the fast-paced technology demands in marketing for a tech-savvy audience. The agency aims to support modern businesses with affluent millennials through strategic branding and modern marketing, by crafting brands that attract and websites that sell.

10.    Melewi

Melewi’s global team has a track record of designing and launching captivating digital products. They handle everything that clients need to turn an idea into a successful product, taking care of UX/UI design, project management, and business and product strategy. With a team that speaks 16 different languages and spans six countries, Melewi provides clients with a portal to worldwide insights.

11.    Olive & Company

Founded in 2003, the team at Olive & Company has dedicated their existence to a single purpose: Providing transformative brand marketing solutions that differentiate businesses and organizations, connect with customers, and deliver results. The tools and tactics have changed over the years, but their collective passion for serving clients remains unaltered.

12.    Robyn and Robyn

Robyn & Robyn is a creative branding agency that specializes in helping clients reach the right audience. They build a story and strategize the best way to tell it – words, photos, videos, and most importantly, DESIGN. The agency loves good design, and they want to tell each client’s story. Whether for an entrepreneur just starting or a business that’s got a long history in the game, they can help brands create a consistent and fresh story which will help the business grow.

13.    School of Thought

School of Thought is an independent creative and media agency located in San Francisco’s historic Barbary Coast. Since 2008, their in-house production team has been delivering groundbreaking work for challengers across nearly every industry. By staying small and nimble, they have been able to cut through the extra layers to tell more compelling stories for their partners across all channels, including television, digital, social, video, OOH, and print.

14.    Strawberry Branding

Strawberry Branding is a full-service 360-degree Advertising and Branding creative marketing agency based in Hyderabad, India. Poised to serve their client’s marketing and communication aspirations, the agency travels that extra mile, spending more time orchestrating ideas that engage and captivate each client’s audience.

15.    Suits & Sandals

Suits & Sandals is equal parts brand consultancy, digital agency, and communications firm. That means they blend research, technology, design and messaging into comprehensive human-centered communications strategies and infrastructure. They are a small team that can impact businesses in a big way – especially if those that are having trouble with any combination of identifying, engaging, informing, inspiring or retaining their audience.

16.    The PM Group

As San Antonio’s premier ad agency, The PM Group’s biggest concerns are their clients’ biggest needs. Whether brands want to increase awareness for a charitable cause, grow a business, or brand new products and services, The PM Group is here to help. Since 1988, they have delivered real results and they know they can do the same for any organization.

Brands can view the best branding companies by price, portfolios, reviews, leadership, expertise, rankings and more on DesignRush.

About DesignRush: is a B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies.

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