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How To Create a New Brand Name

by Allen Weiss  |  
February 19, 2001

The brand name puts a face on every company. Names like McDonald's,, GM, Apple, Intel, and a host of others have long become significant members of pop culture vocabulary. They've also given consumers a point of reference when thinking about a company.

Many of us don't realize that companies often spend millions of dollars coming up with their names. They hire experts, conduct research, and test the market before making a decision.

In this tutorial we will show you a straightforward way to create new brand names. In this way, by understanding the basic ideas behind name generation, you might be able to avoid these excessive costs - and bring your company greater prosperity.


The first step in generating a brand name is to identify a set of associations with the entity -- product, service, website - to be named. Associations are any impressions that current or potential customers may have from your offering (you can read more about this in our tutorial on branding). For instance, your video store may be convenient, have a large selection, and be family oriented.

Next, look for ways to combine these associations. Here are some ways they can be combined:

  • Combine them into phrases (MarketWatch, TicketMaster)
  • Generate part of words and combine (Microsoft, Accenture - accent/future))
  • Use symbols (Oracle, Seven)
  • Use rhymes
  • Use humor
  • Add suffixes or prefixes such as vita, ette, dyne, com, etc.

You can also use words that describe objects that may connote those important associations:

  • Animals (they can connote characteristics like speed or agility)
  • Flowers or Trees (for example, Rose Café connotes elegance and relaxation)
  • Person Types (Craftsman tools connote ability due to the craftsman name)
  • People (this is useful if the names have meaning)
  • Adjectives (QuickPrints is an example)

Or try using metaphors - something that suggests an idea you want
Or try words with no prior associations


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Allen Weiss founded MarketingProfs in 2000 and continues to provide strategic direction for the company as CEO. He's currently a professor of marketing at the University of Southern California and teaches mindfulness in companies at InsightLA.

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