Think about some of the world’s leading brands. Starbucks, Gucci, Ford, Disney, Google, Amazon, Virgin… the list goes on. These are some of the most recognisable brand names in existence, but how did they come to be there? Were they just thought up out of the blue, or are they a product of a painstaking process, overseen by our most formidable marketing moguls? In our latest article, we take at four things you can do to come up with a brand name that stands out from the crowd.

Word association

When creating a brand, you should have a clear idea of your target audience and what you want them to think of when they think of your brand. Try to steer clear of words such as ‘professional’, ‘experts’ and ‘innovative’ as these won’t help you generate an interesting and distinctive brand name. Instead, focus on emotive words which are specific to you only. For example, if you sell luxury candles these could evoke words such as; ‘stylish’,‘elegant’, ‘relaxing’, ‘comfort’, ‘classy’, ‘gift’, beauty and wellness’, ‘home décor’, ‘fashion’, and ‘prestige’.

The next step is to take one of these words and think about people, places and objects that represent them.

Create your own word

Many big brands have become successful under a moniker of their own creation. Think about brands such as Shopify, Spotify and Grammarly –these are all popular services which have simply added ‘ify’ or ‘ly’ at the end of a simple word. Other businesses merge two words such as Groupon, Leapfrog,TripAdvisor and Salesforce. This technique is called portmanteau and, when done well, can be a great tool for brands to put their distinct stamp on their service or product.

Use your last name

Or the last name of someone close to your brand. You can even use the name of a family member, or a beloved pet; providing their name wasn’t Mr Snufflepaws (unless that’s the vibe you’re going for.) Many great brand names are simply a result of the founder’s surname; think Disney, McDonalds, Barnes and Noble, 20th Century Fox, Abercrombie & Fitch and Adidas. Just remember, if you have a common surname, this could mean your business gets lost in a sea of similarly named entities so try to put your own spin on it.

Get reading

To date, there are 171,476 words in the English dictionary. That’s a lot of words. Then there’s the option to combine words, pull parts from them and seek inspiration from other languages. All things considered, you have plenty of choices. To fine-tune your options, seek written material from your industry and make a list of any words that inspire you. Consult magazines, books, social media, competitor websites, editorials, e-shots and anything else that could prove helpful in your quest for a great brand name.

Once you’ve thought of a name, now’s the time to apply it to the rest of your branding. From your logo and website to your tone of voice and imagery, there’s a lot to think about. At Skein, we will work with you to get this right, helping you to build a brand which is miles apart from the rest. Get in touch here to find out more.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash