March 13, 2015

4 Traits of a Great Brand Name

Welcome to Addison Whitney Capabilities Month! Throughout the month of March, we will be designating one week where we will be highlighting one of Addison Whitney’s capabilities – visual branding, verbal branding, market research and brand strategy – via brand salsa and our social media channels.

This week, we are focusing on Verbal Branding, which encompasses the verbal aspects of your branding portfolio, such as brand name development.

“Branding is the construction of an identity, and a continual process, but at the foundation of every brand is its name. A strong brand name can convey a number of things like quality, reliability or clarity.”

But what makes a “great” brand name? The impact it can have on an overall brand is inarguable. As is mentioned in the above quote from the Addison Whitney website, it can serve as the foundation of a brand, the cornerstone on which the rest of the brand is built.

At the same time, this power and importance in a name to a brand can have the opposite effect if the name doesn’t meet the high standards that every brand should set for themselves. This is why it is crucial for a brand’s success that they find the right brand name, which will probably possess one of these four traits:

  1. Distinctively Distinguishing:

Typically, if a name is more unique in its industry it can be easier to protect from a legal standpoint. Additionally, uniqueness is also an attention grabber. It encourages the target audience to learn more presents a mystery to the consumer that leads to interest in learning about the product. For example, the name Oreo does not overtly call out “chocolate, crème filled cookie” but does have a unique and loveable appeal that makes you want to learn more.

  1. Personality Packed:

Names should reflect the correct tone and personality of the brand and brand message. As one of the foremost ways to communicate your brand’s personality and characteristics, a name should give your audience a look into who your brand is, and what it represents. The best brands are extensions of a brand’s personality.

  1. Memorability Memorable:

Names with high recall and memorization help the brand thrive. Brand recognition and awareness can help drive success, and with a memorable name, your brand can easily be brought back to a consumer’s memory when needed. This can be achieved through alliteration (much like this list!), rhyming schemes, and  even invoking unique and disruptive names can aid in memorization.

  1. Striking Simplicity:

The less complicated the better. Don’t try to pack every single brand message into one name. Many names that are unsuccessful forget that there are a number of additional branding aspects that go into an entire brand portfolio, and while the name should be able to stand alone, it shouldn’t try and carry the entire weight of the brand. Pick the relevant and key aspects that start the story telling process – the name will always be supported by other marketing collateral when presented in the future.

Addison Whitney is a global branding firm with a passion for building strong brands. 

To learn more about Addison Whitney, visit our website at, or contact us here.

 Want to get exposed to real projects and attain real-life knowledge and skills vital for success in verbal branding? Click here for information about interning with the Addison Whitney verbal branding team!

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