When we develop names for our clients, we make sure that the name always supports the brand positioning. The discussion of the names we present during the course of a project leads to a continual refinement of the brand positioning, as we hone in on the perfect fit between name and positioning.
There are of course many different types of names, but for the sake of discussion, clarification, and mapping the competitive namescape, we consider four broad classes of names:
- Descriptive Names – Descriptive names are purely descriptive of what a company or product does or its function. They might also take the form of an acronym or the names of the company founders.
- Invented Names – This category of names includes the purely invented, the morphemic mash-up, and foreign words that are not widely known to English speakers. At their best, Invented names can be poetic, rhythmic and ripe for investing with the soul of a brand (think Google).
- Experiential Names – These are names that map to the experience of using a product or service, or to what a company does, or to an aspect of human experience. This category also includes all the generic adjective-based names, such as Advanced, Superior, Vantage, Smart, Super, Ultra, Mega, etc. Experiential names are usually literal, and are the types of names often created by cross-referencing a vision statement with a thesaurus.
- Evocative Names – These are names that map metaphorically, rather than literally, to the brand positioning. Evocative names rise above the goods and services being offered, and paint a bigger picture. The best of them tap into a deep reservoir of shared cultural knowledge, myth, story, imagery, association, legend and art, and usually work on multiple levels. Nearly all the greatest brands that you are familiar with have evocative names.