Naming - Corporate Naming – Creating Names

Benno van Aerssen encourages unique and expressive corporate names, while understanding the amount of brainstorming it takes to come up with a suitable name.

A name will mirror the uniqueness of a product’s nature, a service, a project or enterprise.

A name defines an identity, making the product and company distinctive.

Call a Spade a Spade

It is human nature that we like to give things a good name. From Flora to Fauna, from cities, planets and people all the way to cars and computers. Everything has a name

A good name is worth more than riches“ 
(Miguel de Cervantes)

Names, Associations and Emotions

A good name evokes positive Associations and Emotions. It creates confidence in the values of the product and guarantees its quality.

A carefully selected brand name brings a competitive advantage:

  • A high recognition value
  • A clear expression of positioning
  • A legal protection against counterfeiting.

A new name should have the same function as a sound box, resonating experiences in the consumers head - the name must establish a connection to emotions, associations and images.

At first, it may take a seemingly paradoxical approach when it comes to launching a good name for your company or product: the success of a name depends on the irreconcilable simultaneity of two conditions: familiarity and novelty. The uniqueness of novelty combined with the security of familiarity.


A really good Name

An optimal product name should meet some requirements:

  • Phonaesthetics The customer must feel comfortable with the brand name.
"Asthetic" is hereby functional and goal orientated.

  • Memorable
 Once heard, the name must remain attached to the new brand.

  • Power-Association 
Does the brand name reflect on the performance of the company?

  • Domain suitability
It is important to consider the length of the brand name to ensure its suitability when used as an Internet domain.

  • Sparks positive associations

  • has a promising stable trademark law

  • be easily understood and significant

  • be equally as appealing and usable internationally

  • be innovative and future-proof

Each project name is thereby through it's own requirements as unique as any product.


Various kinds and Types of Names

Here you will find a small guide, providing some orientation when it comes to the different ways of naming and to help you find a name that not only fits but also provides effective advertising and is URL-friendly:


  • Your own name as a company name

    This option has been opted is by some of the most leading companies you can imagine. The fashion world is full of designer names. Bogner, Joop, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste. On the other hand, many traditional companies just take on the name of the founder (or licensor) - Marklin, Würth, Beate Uhse, Otto Versand.

    Caution: This option is only appropriate if the name is easy to pronounce and meets all the other criteria listed above. Thus, the mentioning of the owners names, within the company's name creates a sense of trust and closeness.

  • Descriptive Names

    These names are determined by their descriptive reflection of the products.

    The company or the products are characterized by their external designation of their inner being. For example, pelican, owl, cougar or hot frog, which are all known corporate brands. Descriptive names can also of course be chosen in any language, e.g. Apple or Yello.

    Advantage: Descriptive names are easy to remember. As well as when it comes to pets, this method is particularly congenial.

    Disadvantage: Since many terms are already in use, the protect ability right is often not given.

  • Foreign Names

    Names in a foreign language names should be treated with caution. Firstly, pronunciation is often difficult, and secondly, the meaning is not always clear. As a result, the retentivity of the name may suffer. Also a problem: How do you spell the name?

  • Composite Names

    This is a suitable method for coming up with new names. Start by taking two words, for example, one might describe the product. In the case of a hoover, which cleans up and fixes the mess in no time, ‘Sta-Fix’ could be an example of a composite name. Whole names could also be put together, as in ‘Wash & Go’. Alternatively, the name for whom the product is aimed at can be used, such as with the ‘Kinder’ chocolate range.

  • Acronyms

    These are names that are formed from the initial letters of several words e.g. WMF or AEG, IBM and BMW. Using method there are disadvantages such as some acronyms are difficult to remember and the definition will then easily become lost and forgotten, which is counterproductive. Especially in terms of having a URL, many three-letter acronyms are already in use, and to take on more than three letters might risk making it too difficult to remember. ADAC and YMCA might be considered an exception.

  • Invented Names

    The great aspect of a name you’ve created freely and entirely yourself is that they are likely to be easily patented. However, it may take years before an invented name becomes familiar to customers and again there is the possibility that people will have difficulty pronouncing the name.

  • Letter shuffles

    In this Option, individual letters in words will be replaced or simply left out. Such as, from flicker Flickr and trend to trnd. This can lead to an attention-grabbing and memorable name. And due to of the resemblance to present concepts, positive associations can be created.