When coming up with a name for your startup, rebrand, product, or just about anything else, it may seem like the name possibilities are endless. However, despite the millions of great (and not so great) company names out there, the majority of evocative names can fit into one of five categories: classic, clever, emotional, experiential, and intriguing. Let’s take a look at each category in more detail to help you decide which is right for you.
Stick with the classics
While classic names are becoming less common, there are still companies that decide to follow traditional naming standards. You’ll find accounting and law firms that stick with classic naming structures, using their partner’s last names to create the name of the firm. Multinational law firm Baker & McKenzie Law is an example of the classic naming structure.
While choosing to use a classic name may not be a good fit for many businesses, companies that want to exude professionalism and trustworthiness may benefit from having a classic name. As a consumer, you’re likely not going to hire a law firm called “Law4U” to handle your court case.
Get clever with your name
A clever business name is one of the most challenging to pull off correctly – a name that you think is clever and funny could easily fall flat with your target audience. However, when done well, clever names can be very powerful – they help your business stand out from competitors and create an instant connection with customers. As a customer, you’re much more likely to remember a name that made you chuckle than one that didn’t.
Some fun examples of clever names include Pita Pan (a falafel restaurant), Cash 22 (pawnbroker), Curl Up & Dye (hair salon), and Spruce Springclean (maid service). While these names might not be the best choices for companies who prefer to give off a serious, respectable tone, clever names are a great option for the right business.
Evoke an emotional response
An emotional name is any name that brings up some type of emotional response for the customer, whether it’s happiness, excitement, or nostalgia. When choosing an emotional name, you want to ensure that it evokes positive emotions in your customers – you don’t want your target audience to feel sad or distraught every time they hear your company’s name!
Grin, an influencer marketing platform that helps agencies and empowers marketers, is a great example of a name that brings up an points to a powerful emotion–happiness. For a company this is unloading a lot of stress from their customers, Grin is an awesome emotional name.
Craft an experiential name
Another option is to use your name to convey the experience of using your product or service to your customers. When seeing an experiential name, customers will get an idea of what their interaction with your product or service will be. These types of names tend to be more powerful than simple descriptive names, as you’re not just telling your customers what your company does – you’re conveying the whole user experience in a word or phrase.
PayPal and Twitter are both great examples of strong experiential names. Both names capture the core idea of the company, as well as provide customers with a clear idea of what their user experience will entail.
Intrigue your customers
Some names will capture customers’ attention not because they’re clever or descriptive, but because they have an air of intrigue. These names are the ones that are likely short and provocative, and provide little information to the consumer about what products or services are being offered. If your name piques your customers’ curiosity, they may be more likely to research your company and remember it in the future.
When Uber launched in 2009, their choice of a short, intriguing German name made consumers and media want to learn more about the company. Since the company was the first of its kind in the ridesharing space, choosing a name that made people curious helped them to get the word out about their new, innovative service.
No matter which type of name you choose to use for your business, the most important thing is to make sure that it’s a good fit. While a classic name may work for some companies, others will find themselves lost in the shuffle. Take the time to examine your business plan and branding strategy before settling on a classic, clever, emotional, experiential, or intriguing name.