It is an interesting, complicated, and marvelous time to be a woman. And, likewise, it is an interesting, complicated, and marvelous time to be naming brands catering exclusively to women.

Those tasked with choosing a name for a product or company geared toward women have a lot to consider. Should they lean into traditional definitions of femininity, à la Miss Sixty or Victoria's Secret? Or is it more compelling to avoid traditional notions of femininity and create fiercely feminine names like Nasty Girl—a fashion brand name that predates the Pussyhat Project but reverberates with the same raw and raucous "girl power"?

Or perhaps it's best to avoid either extreme by developing a name that just hints at the feminine—an approach successfully demonstrated by the active wear brand Oiselle.

So... what are some considerations for naming a female-focused brand?

What are you naming?

Before beginning any naming process or making a name selection, carefully consider not only the market but also the type of product or company being named.

For example, the beer brewery name "High Heel Brewing" was a misstep, because gender has nothing inherently to do with beer. On the other hand, the name LUNA works quite well as an energy bar, because in this case gender is relevant: The bars were designed with women's nutritional needs in mind. That is a value proposition, and giving the name a feminine slant therefore makes sense.

The same holds true for Stella Rising, a name River + Wolf developed for a marketing and media agency for spirited, high-growth consumer brands and service companies. Andrea Van Dam, the company's CEO says, "We went from Women's Marketing to Stella Rising, a name that is human-centric, not gender-restrictive. As a female name, Stella plays to the fact that we're a women-led company with a passion for beauty. But ["stella"], as the Latin word for star...positions us as the agency for rising star brands of all kinds."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Margaret Wolfson

Margaret Wolfson is founder and chief creative of River + Wolf, an award-winning NYC naming agency with clients around the globe.

LinkedIn: Margaret Wolfson

image of Jacqueline Lisk

Jacqueline Lisk is founder of JR Lisk Inc., a writer, marketing strategist, and naming specialist who regularly partners with River+Wolf.

LinkedIn: Jacqueline Lisk

Twitter: @Jlisk1