This Article was first published at Forbes.com.
If you are starting a new business or thinking of rebranding your current business, you know how difficult it is to come up with a great name – one that is contextual, appealing, remarkable and evocative. One way to develop an appealing name (one that people love to say and hear) is to leverage poetic devices.
Names such as PayPal, Krispy Kreme and StubHub all have a pleasing sound that makes them unique and memorable. For thousands of years, poets have been honing the craft of making words pleasing and memorable, so why not look to some of their techniques to help develop an appealing name? There are many distinct name styles and techniques that can make a name much more appealing, depending on your brand positioning.
Alliteration is the repetition of the same sound at the beginning of two or more words in a sentence or phrase. This only needs to be a sound, not the same letter. Some examples are Best Buy, Krispy Kreme, Range Rover, Dunkin’ Donuts and Coca-Cola. Alliterations give your name a “beat” that can be catchy and memorable.
Assonance happens when vowel sounds are repeated in words or phrases. Assonance can occur in a single word or a string of words (e.g. YouTube, Häagen-Dazs and FedEx), and it creates a pleasing sound.
There has been research published regarding how our brains connect words with emotions. This shows that people can experience sounds in the same way they experience color or taste. Some of the most cherished phrases in literature are those that evoke images in the reader’s mind.
When the evening is spread out against the sky
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Imagery can be used very effectively in a business name. Disney’s water park, Typhoon Lagoon, is a great example of a name using imagery to evoke a strong connection. Recent names created on our platform – Leaf & Nectar (for an organic juice and salad shop) and Zero Gravity (for an indoor trampoline park) – are a few additional examples of names that also use imagery to evoke the brand’s main purpose. Create a remarkable name by eliciting a strong and positive image in the mind of the consumer.
Connecting your brand’s name to a rhyme is a catchy way to ensure longevity for your brand if done right. Some examples are Piggily Wiggly, 7 Eleven and StubHub. Rhyming poetry is often seen as juvenile and unsophisticated; this is often the case for rhyming names as well. They are great for creating playful, light and catchy names, but are often avoided by companies looking for a more classic or professional branding.
These business names are usually terms that are associated with something unrelated to the core service or product. For example, the word Amazon does not imply e-commerce; it was chosen as a symbol of vastness. The metaphoric name is meaningful as well as easy to say, spell and remember – making it a great name.
Considered by some to be the greatest poet in history, Shakespeare is well known for inventing many words and phrases.
This can simply be a compound of two words that describe your business or a metaphor for your company (e.g. SkillShare and FitBit). You could also combine the words into a third, unique term of its own (e.g. Pinterest, Groupon and Accenture). Another alternative is to consider adding a unique domain extension such as Art.sy, News.me or Visual.ly.
Picking a business name should be done after you consider the message and personality you want to communicate to consumers. Using poetic devices can not only add a pleasing sound to the name of your company but can also create a brand that is deeply meaningful and evocative. It has also been proven to be easier to remember, which will benefit your brand in the long run.