Category Archives: Brand Naming

Beware of naming your company with over-used words

There are some words that have been endlessly abused and are no longer fit for human consumption. They’ve become stale and meaningless.

Some words can put you to sleepAnd in that class are words that end up in generic-type company names.

You know those names: they usually consist of three multisyllabic words that attempt to describe the business and at the same time make the company appear to be at the top of their category. These names start with or contain overworked words like “Quality”, Precision”, Performance, “Advanced”. Continue reading Beware of naming your company with over-used words

Most effective types of brand names identified

Ranking of eight name typesA while ago I downloaded a presentation by aXle Branding. I just revisited their site and could not find it, but here’s the url anyway: http://axlebranding.com/

One page displayed the aXle analysis of names strengths, weakest to strongest by name type. Their example was drawn from the communications industry.

I happen to agree with this assessment by and large. I’m not sure I could have made the distinction between “completely descriptive” and “ semi-descriptive”, but otherwise I embrace their approach. We are dealing with generalities here, so there are certainly some invented names that aren’t strong. And there are probably some family name types that are strong, either through use or additional associations (Edison, perhaps?). Continue reading Most effective types of brand names identified

Coined word brand names: make them easy to take in

Selling prescription drugsNaming can be tricky. Especially when you’re branding with a coined word name

Here’s an example: there’s a prescription drug on the market that’s pronounced acifex, according to the voice-over in the commercial. Yet it’s spelled AcipHex.

Now with no prompting, wouldn’t you pronounce the word acip-hex? I would. That’s because of the uppercase H making me think there are two words. Continue reading Coined word brand names: make them easy to take in

An effective brand name will not describe the business

There seems to be a need for entrepreneurs to brand their business by describing it.

Descriptive names usually become initialsI suppose they’re afraid people won’t know what they do if the name doesn’t describe the offering. I’d be more afraid that the name doesn’t differentiate the business from its competitors.

Once you name the business or service descriptively, you’ve named a product category, and your name becomes generic and undifferentiated. Continue reading An effective brand name will not describe the business

Naming fads come and go:

Another set of facts from my analysis of INC 500 names.I’ve blogged about my analysis of the names of companies who have appeared in the INC 500 list of fastest growing privately-held U.S. companies over the past ten years..

Name development - INC 500 analysis

Here’s another set of facts from this study. These have to do with most popular business “last names”. These are the modifying words many companies incorporate into their names.

I have identified the five most popular last names while scanning the 5000 names in the study. They are:

Continue reading Naming fads come and go:

Analyzing the names of INC 500 companies:

One-word vs two-word vs three-plus-word names.

Analyzing the names of INC 500 companies for ten yearsI’m fascinated by brand names, whether they be product names, service names, corporate names, names of events or names of product features.

So I took on a project lately that I find engrossing if not significant.

You know that INC Magazine publishes an annual fall issue of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the U.S.

Well, I reasoned that these savvy companies might know something about naming companies since they seem to be doing lots of other things right if they’re among the top 500. Continue reading Analyzing the names of INC 500 companies: