What’s in a (brand) name?

What’s in a (brand) name?

by Bill McKendry

A great name is like having extra horsepower.

Having a complicated, boring, generic, or sound-alike name generally won’t stop a brand from achieving success, but it definitely can impede growth and be a drag on potential.

Obviously, if you’re starting a new organization or providing a new service, naming should be one of the first branding components you consider, and it’s a great (and inexpensive way) to create differentiation.

If your product, service, or brand has a name that you believe is undifferentiated or not memorable, you may want to consider modifying it or changing it. While your current name may have some equity with certain audiences, it may be costing you more than what you could gain with a new name.

Great names have certain qualities. Those include:

  • Memorable– sticks in your brain and stands out in the marketplace
  • Meaningful– aligns with what you do or provide or with the personality of your organization
  • Readable– easy to spell and certainly easy to pronounce
  • Distinctive– unique and creates separation from other like organizations

Name. Brand.

If you have a big marketing and branding budget, you can overcome a bad or dull name with compelling messages. But most of us don’t have that luxury. As such, having an unforgettable and unique name is a strategic advantage and increases the efficiency of your messaging.


While your name is important, your brand cannot survive on your name alone.

How your brand is executed and the strength of your name are both vital components for a successful and sustained branding effort. A great brand name can serve as an anchor for your mission, a symbol of your story, a point of difference, a memory trigger, or just an element that provides an “extra kick” for your branding program.

Ready to get started? Use the form below to download our brand name guide.

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