Naming Tips: Number 17 in a series

Here are two proven sources of brand names. And even if names don’t sprout directly from the techniques described, often they will at least open your mind and expand the domain in which you normally live and think.

Number One: Create a list of metaphors that might represent your brand. Think about how your product is like: a famous person (who from history would be a passionate spokesperson?), an animal (think of the characteristics of natural prototypes), a sport (and all its terminology, equipment and techniques), an activity (what type of dance is most appropriate for your product?), an event (where would I use the product except at home?). You can expand this list by reviewing the attributes and characteristics of appropriate metaphors.

Additional categories might include mythology, geography, literature, movies, tools, astrology, fictional characters, colors, shapes, science and music.

Number two: You can name your brand by creating and naming a character. By naming that character, you’ve also named the brand, and given it a personality as well. Precedents include Marie Callender, Sara Lee, Uncle Ben, Orville Reddenbacher and The Pep Boys. My own contribution to the gender: Weldon Wright.

Although the examples above may not relate directly to a brand benefit or attribute, through use and story-telling they begin to become associated with the desired position and niche envisioned by their creators. If the name and representation of the character are appropriate, there’s no better way to convey a brand promise than through a character who not only speaks for, but actually is the brand.

Martin Jelsema

One thought on “Naming Tips: Number 17 in a series

  1. I recently came across an e-mail service branded by a make-believe character named “Emma” ( – effectively done, and it doesn’t hurt that the website is engagingly written with a funny and cheeky attitude to boot!

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