Naming your brand, product, or service, there is a wide range of name types you may wish to consider

I want to share this discussion from for Brand & Communication Group. And this is the topic that is arise. “When naming your brand, product, or service, there is a wide range of name types you may wish to consider. Is your brand name descriptive or evocative?”

See how I examine brand naming. And brand naming is not just descriptive or evocative (suggestive). It is more than those two.

Just read, my opinion. Here we go:

Descriptive or evocative (suggestive)? Hmmm….ok! How do I examine them?

In my opinion, as always my way of developing brand naming, there are two methods of brand naming– related and unrelated.

First, a related brand naming can be accomplished by (1) reinforced the nature of the product/ service– i.e. American Airlines, (2) convey an abstract image– i.e. Alpine Water, (3) emphasize one or more attributes– i.e. Soft ‘n’ Dry deodorants. All these 3 are descriptive and evocative (suggestive).

Second, an unrelated brand naming can be accomplished by words that have little meaning or no connection with product being named or specifically created and have no dictionary meaning– i.e. Camel Cigarettes and Kodak.

Below is the sample on how you could name your brand. And let’s pretend it is an all purpose cleaner:
1. Descriptive, related brand naming: Clean All
2. Evocative (suggestive), related brand naming: Sparkle
3. Arbitrary, unrelated brand naming: Horizon
4. Coined, unrelated brand naming: Alcon

OK, I need to go deep on these naming categories. As I view, a descriptive, an evocative, and an arbitrary naming will result in a good recall. While a coined naming will result in a good recognition. Why? a recall requires reconstruction of target stimulus, while recognition requires matching with the stimulus with the information stored in the memory.

Now, try to hear these two namings, and feel the different. General Motors and Kodak. General Motor gives the ease of recall since both words are high frequencies (people frequently say these two words). While Kodak, it is a created name and have no dictionary meaning what so ever, but this name is so different and new to people, therefore it stored and stays in your memory that result in good recognition. Do you know what I mean? Hmmm….I hope so 🙂

Off course, a related and an unrelated naming have its up-sides and down-sides. So everything has its risk. so let’s take a look of those sides.

1. Related brand naming
a. Advantage:

  • May convey relevant product information, and can be seen as never-ending advertising, with a consistent message, for the product
  • Facilitates identification with the product category, and enhances brand awareness
  • It tremendously helpful in the the initial positioning
  • Inherently meaningful more appealing since many consumers do not examine much of information in their product decisions
  • May build equity when other brand associations existed in consumers memory

b. Disadvantage:

  •  It becomes restrictive and become burden to be extended to the other product categories

2. Unrelated brand naming
a. advantage:

  • Easily lies in the mind of the consumer with few exposures to marketing communications
  • Pose no constrains on the goods and services they can represents
  • Could be extended to other products without major difficulties

b. Disadvantage:

  • Often serves as a poor reminder for communication effects stored in memory

You see the up-sides and down-sides of both methods. When it comes to develop a brand naming, which method you are using depends on risks you would take. I personally consider that brand naming development the most frustrating phase. And I don’t like to do it by myself. You need more than just one brain to do this. Sort of brainstorming with your team.

Back, to the original questions, Descriptive or evocative (suggestive)? Well it is more than just those two. You should consider many possibilities. And hopefully, my sharing could lighten you up the brand naming development process that is frustrating.



About Dimas Mardjono
I always treat myself as a student, and I always keep on learning through my ups and downs. This blog talks about brand, branding, social issues, what’s going on in the world, way of thinking, etc. With this blog, I hope I could provide benefit to readers, so share my article to your friends. Life isn’t about finding yourself, Life is about creating yourself.

4 Responses to Naming your brand, product, or service, there is a wide range of name types you may wish to consider

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