What's In a Name? Make the Right Decision While Selecting a Brand Name

A brand name is a very strong part of a brand’s identity. Its role is to make sure that the brand name ‘sticks’ and people find it hard to forget. Whether Haldiram or Jabong, DLF or RuPay , brand names have their own logic.

Types of brand names:
  1. Lineage Based – these could come from the family name of the promoter (like Dabur) or based on location (like Canara Bank/ Bank of Baroda) 
  2. Acronym – GVK, GMR, DLF, IBM are all acronyms where they mean little to people as full forms; but the acronyms have a lot of meaning imbued in them.
  3. Nonsense Names – that stand out for their uniqueness. Jabong, Google, Xerox, Mirinda, Blackberry. These can be nonsense words or words that have no connection with the product    
  4. Crafted Names – are created, and mean something even though they don't really. Names such as Accenture, Avantha, Flaavyo, Microsoft fit the bill here
  5. Product Descriptors – these are brands names such as RuPay, SimCash, Fruit Plus, Meats & More, Funskool, Playboy etc
  6. Association – Names by association such as Apple (from the apple falling on Newton’s head), Pedigree (dog food), American Express, Victoria’s Secret, Coach, Maruti (Hanuman – son of wind)
  7. Product Experience/ Promise – Kurkure (the sound of the crunch), Seven Eleven (the timings of the store), Yippee, Skore are all derived from the benefits of the product.
At the end of the day, any name can become the face of the brand and have meaning accruing to it. Arrow, Oberoi, Skoda – the words don't connote much and yet they have become recognizable brands. Brands are a sum total of the experience they convey. Think of a name/ identity as the tag on a file. Contained in the file are our perceptions about the brand based on name and identity, packaging, the material used for packaging, the product or service, the quality and delivery of the product of service, the ambience, the environment, the type of décor, the communication, the associations, the brand ambassadors and the name/identity are what we recognize and in the same instant unlock all our perceptions built up about the brand.

But this takes time. Brands are built over years and new brands face the challenge of breaking through a cluttered landscape of competitors. A truly distinctive, smart and ‘clever’ name can become a memorable hook for the brand to form its associations on. 

The name matrix below is a useful guideline for choosing the type of name required.

Alpana Parida
 DY Works 

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