6 types of successful (or not) brand names


Choosing a name for a new company, product, service, event etc. is not an easy task. We always say that a name should be chosen following a complex naming process with multiple steps, from establishing the brand objectives to linguistic and trademark screening.  

One of the steps of this process is establishing the category you want your name to belong to. At Namzya, we assign the brand names to four categories: descriptive, invented, evocative and experiential.

Whatever category you choose for your future name, you have more types of names you can opt for. Let’s see six of the most used ones:

  1. Rhyme

A name with rhyme is fun to say, it is extremely memorable and it sticks in your mind. Of course, it should fit perfectly with your brand positioning. If your brand is in a conservative industry (e.g the law industry), a name like this wouldn’t be the best choice. But if you are in a more flexible domain, you can take a rhyme into consideration.

Here are some examples of brands which chose rhyme in their naming decision:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Jamba Juice
  • Nutter Butter
  • YouTube
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Lelli Kelly

Don’t they sound delicious? :)

  1. Humor

Another option for your brand name is humor. A funny name makes you smile and can create a brand with personality. Of course, choosing humor can be risky. Before making the decision of using it, you should establish your brand objectives and check if and how humor will meet them.

Let’s see some examples:

  • Bullfrog
  • Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants
  • Boring Business Systems
  • STD Contractors
  • WTF Group
  • Juan in a Million
  • Menlove Dental Practice
  • Kum & Go

  1. Acronyms

Acronyms are one of our favorite topics. Many times people want to name their future brand using acronyms just because they think they are short and easy to remember. When we are looking at brands like IBM, HP, BMW, KFC, LG, BBC etc., we are tempted to believe that one of the keys of their success is the abbreviated name. The truth is that this is not true.

We have debated this subject in a dedicated article, if you want to read more about it.

  1. Founders

Another very used option is the founder’s name. Of course, this is applied in case your name isn’t Smith, for example. Many successful brands are named after their founders.

Let’s see some examples:

  • Lavazza – Luigi Lavazza
  • Illy – Francesco Illy
  • Ford – Henry Ford
  • Disney – Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney
  • Dell – Michael Dell
  • Hilton – Conrad Hilton

If you are choosing your personal name as a naming option, remember that you will need a lot of financial and time resources to grow your brand. Your name will not express any brand positioning, so you will have to make double efforts to communicate it to your audience.

  1. Ingredients

If you are an innovator with your product, you should consider building a brand of the key ingredient that goes into your product.

Here are some examples of branded ‘ingredients’:

  • Intel Inside
  • Teflon
  • Lycra


  1. Personification

Another name type which is chosen by different companies is personification. A name like this is connected to a character and gives the new brand the possibility to build a relationship with the audience easier.

Here are some examples of brands which did this:

  • Mr. Muscle
  • Mr. Clean / Mr. Proper
  • Uncle Ben
  • Green Giant

Even if you now know about this types of names, remember that any naming decision should be made only by following a well-established process. The name is a big part of a brand identity and it shouldn’t be chosen at random. If you need a professional help with a naming project, write us. We will be more than happy to help you.


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Marcela and Andra                                      Marcela and Andra


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