Want to own your name online? Forget what your English teacher taught you.
Look at any list of top brands in terms of valuation, and you’ll see companies—and naming trends—that weren’t there 20–30 years ago. Many of the brands at the top of the list are newer players, and the naming strategies they’ve used illustrate three new approaches that resonate with today’s consumers. Here’s the first one we’ve identified:
Strategy #1: Alternate spellings
Recognizable words can still be made distinctive with creative alterations that keep key sounds involved. Dropping vowels, swapping letters, and running words together are all common, as in names like the blog site Tumblr or the nasal spray QNASL.
The most famous example today is of course “Google.” This name is an alternate spelling of “googol,” itself a made-up word attributed to the nine-year-old nephew of the mathematician Edward Kasner, who needed a name for the number that is written as the numeral 1 followed by a hundred zeroes. (The nickname for the company’s headquarters, “Googleplex,” is also a play on the related mathematical term “googolplex.”)
This strategy takes advantage of a trend that all brands have in common, which is the tendency for consumers to mentally reduce the name of every brand to a short, simple, and memorable byte. That’s why “Chase Manhattan Bank” is more commonly called “Chase,” The Siemens “Biograph Sensation 16” becomes the “Biograph,” and “Coca-Cola” is known as “Coke.” Even “BMW” gets shortened to “Bimmer,” a word that’s longer on paper but one syllable shorter when spoken.
As these examples to suggest, any naming strategy can benefit from crafting the shortest possible brand title that remains easy to use and still carries the value of your positioning.
For examples of this strategy in action, plus details on others that are working in today’s healthcare space, download our free, quick-reading parathink briefing: Names That Sell Global Healthcare Brands: How to create distinctive brand names that drive customer preference, sales and loyalty. Click here to get it now!
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