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Top 12 Types Of Brand Names

Brand Board Media

June 07, 2023
Types of Brand Names

Do you seek a perfect brand name for your company but are not sure about what goes into it? Dear friends, BBM is your saviour! We are here to assist you out of the bind with some insight into the types of brand names you can have for your business.

But before jumping into the sea of different brand names, let us first understand the basics.

What Is A Brand Name?

A brand name is more than a catchy label for your company. The primary aim of a brand name is to establish a distinct and recognizable identity within the market while fostering greater acceptance among consumers. The name can be an abbreviation, a metaphor, or something that describes your products and services.

Now that we have established the goal of a brand name, it's time to explore the various types of brand names.

Types Of Brand Names

It can be exasperating when you are unsure about exactly what you want to accomplish when naming your brand. Understanding the different types of brand names can help you narrow down your options and quicken the process.

This blog will walk you through 12 different types of brand names with famous examples of each.

1.Descriptive Brand Names

In essence, a descriptive brand name describes what the company offers. These are pretty clear and leave little room for misinterpretation. Like most names, descriptive brand names clearly convey the products, services, and values of the business.

Despite the lack of excitement in descriptive names, numerous brands have skillfully embraced their inherent simplicity. They have effectively transformed their seemingly common names into sources of distinction and intrigue. However, one should be careful when choosing descriptive names as they are difficult to trademark. Some top examples of descriptive brand names include:

  • General Motors
  • Whole foods
  • Toys R Us

2.Evocative Brand Names

The complete opposite of descriptive names are the evocative brand names. They use suggestions and metaphors to ignite the user's imagination. They create the essence of the brand experience. Evocative brand names enable companies to tell a story extending beyond their products or services.

The inherent originality of evocative names empowers them to serve as potent vehicles for product diversification. It allows businesses to explore new avenues and expand their offerings. Additionally, their unique nature makes trademarking them easier. Companies that have encashed the potential of evocative names include:

  • Apple
  • Lush
  • Bounce
  • Amazon
  • Nike

3.Invented Brand Names

If you can't find the perfect name for your brand, invent it! The best part of having an invented brand name is the broad creative territory it offers your company. But creating names is not so easy.

Coming up with an inventive word that resembles a real word or has some semblance of meaning can be challenging. Most invented brand names are just misspelled words with common roots that leverage an existing word's meaning. Brands that have taken the inventive route include:

  • Adidas
  • Pixar
  • Spotify
  • Google
  • Xerox

4.Lexical Brand Names

It is the wordplay that makes lexical names memorable. Puns, phrases, compound words, alliteration, intentional misspellings, and foreign words all contribute to this popular naming style.

This naming style is not popular in serious B2B brands despite its potential in consumer-centric brands. Also, irrespective of the industry, lexical brand names carry the risk of feeling dated. Some examples of known brands having linguistic names include:

  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Fruit Loops
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Hubba Bubba
  • Sizzler Steakhouse

5.Acronymic Brand Names

The acronymic naming convention has become synonymous with large, national corporations in recent years. But, it has its own challenges.

The combination of letters in a word does not inherently convey the same meaning as the words it represents. It can refer to those words, but its effectiveness relies on the audience's familiarity with their intended significance. For instance, how many people can actually tell what the letters in HP and IBM stand for?

In most cases, acronyms essentially function as invented names. Their meaning is shaped and established through extensive branding and marketing efforts. Famous brands that added credit to their acronymic names include:

  • L&T
  • P&G
  • H&M
  • MTV
  • BMW

6.Geographical Names

Geographical names include names that create a profound sense of connection with their namesake's cultural, historical and natural associations. A geographical name is often associated with a company that initially serviced a specific geographic area but has since expanded to a broader market.

One major drawback of using geographical names for branding is its potential limitation when a brand wishes to expand into new markets. It necessitates a rebranding to accommodate the growing boundaries. Examples of geographical branding names include:

  • Indian Airlines
  • Newyork Times
  • Arizona Tiles
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Brooklyn Brewery

7.Founder Brand Names

Founder brand names are an age-old tradition tracing back to the very first brands. Although this naming style is not very common among budding entrepreneurs, family names still abound.

The upside of a founder name is they are easy to trademark and distinctive. But, these also need a tremendous marketing investment to build a brand. Also, if the founder is not a celebrity, it will not immediately justify the value proposition of the name. Some famous founder brand name examples are:

  • Ford
  • Chanel
  • Gucci
  • Kellogg’s
  • Cadbury

8.Emotive names

Using an emotionally charged or suggestive brand name can be very effective. It captures the emotions a customer experiences when using the particular product or service. It is a very effective naming strategy for consumer-centric businesses as it resonates with the customer's emotion.

Such names usually include real words that people can instantly relate too. Some brands that spoke with the audience’s emotion include:

  • Triumph Motocycles
  • Innocent Drinks
  • Uber
  • Trusting Social
  • Freederm

9.Origin Names

Origin names take inspiration from cultural, historical or geographical aspects of a community or region or any historical figure related to the business. Origin names aim to strike a chord and evoke a sense of authenticity with their target audience.

Brands using origin names try to establish a strong identity and build a narrative aligning the values and traditions associated with a specific culture. They create a difference by tapping into the emotional appeal of heritage and tradition. Examples of brands that made a difference with origin names include:

  • Tuscany Leather
  • Bombay Sapphire
  • Adidas
  • Yakult
  • The North Face

10.Alphanumeric names

An alphanumeric brand name is an incredibly creative and symbolic blend of letters and numbers. They possess the flexibility to convey complex meanings, represent numerical values, or stand out from the crowd.

But, in order to choose the right brand name, you must take the time to understand your niche well. Not every business finds using alphanumeric names an ideal choice for their brand. Even so, it can be quite effective in certain market sectors that show the progress of a service or a particular industry. Some great examples of alphanumeric brand names include:

  • 7 Up
  • 7-Eleven
  • 9Gag
  • Jigsaw24
  • MS Office 365

11.Playful names

Playful brand names have no direct reference to the company’s services or products but evoke a sense of joy and excitement in the customers. These names aim at utilizing imagination to create a memorable persona for the brand.

But, playful brand names do carry a bit of risk factor and are not suitable for every business niche. Some common examples of playful brand names include:

  • Funko
  • Snickers
  • Nintendo
  • Yahoo!
  • Hush Puppies

12.Compound names

Compound names utilize the power of words to connect with their audience. They usually comprise two or more meaningful words blended together to form a memorable name that captures the essence of your brand.

The selection of a compound name strategy varies based on the impact you wish to create on the audience. However, the two most common strategies for arriving at compound names include:

- blending (combining parts of two words to arrive at a memorable name) and

- portmanteau (combining two words by overlapping them).

Some widely accepted compound brand name examples are:

  • PayPal
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • FedEx
  • Airbnb

Wrapping up:

Brand naming is much more than putting together a bunch of letters and symbols. Rather, it is the embodiment of the company's vision, aspirations and values. It is a captivating landscape where creativity and strategy intertwine to pave the way for a successful future. And we at Brand Board Media comprehend the role a brand name plays in building a people's brand. So, if you need expert advice for maximizing your brand's potential, we are only a call away!

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Brand Board Media



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