The Kitchen Sink

The Secret To Kickass Brand Names

The Secret To Kickass Brand Names

Creating awesome brand names is not a science. Yet naming firms spout ridiculous jargon about “verbal identity engineering,“ “rigorous methodologies,” “computational linguistics,” and “scientific scrutiny applied to the unstructured and undisciplined process of brand name creation.” Others try to invent names using math. They take a completely fine word, crunch it with another word, and get a name that doesn’t compute. Or, they subtract a few letters from a perfectly good word and end up with a name that looks like it was made from the miscellaneous Scrabble tiles left at the end of a game after all of the vowels are gone.

Does any of that sound even remotely creative?

Consumers don’t fall in love with brand names created by scientific processes, linguistic voodoo or mangling the alphabet. Those kinds of names don’t resonate with us because they don’t make emotional connections. The most powerful brand names connect with people and move them to buy because they are based on familiar words and concepts that we understand and appreciate. Kryptonite locks. Mayday tech support. Obsession perfume. Leap Frog toys. Ninja blender. These are the names that speak volumes.

As an advertising copyriter at Ogilvy & Mather, I learned the art of making emotional connections with words. Years later, I began creating names and discovered that just as a clever print ad headline will turn heads, generate buzz, and spark sales, brand names can have the same effect. And my new book, “Hello, My Name is Awesome: How To Create Brand Names That Stick, will show you how to do just that! The book is being released on September 15, 2014, but you can pre-order it today on Amazon.


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