The following is an excerpt from my book, Building a Bold Brand. To learn more about the book, visit www.buildingaboldbrand.com.
Coming up with a great brand name for a new business, new product, or
new service can be quite difficult. Today, it may be even more
challenging than in the past since there are so many existing businesses,
and because any business, regardless of location, can go online and
almost instantaneously be considered a national or international
company. In addition, having a corresponding domain name is generally
important, which may further reduce the number of available names.
There are a few naming concepts that are great sources of bold brands
and strong trademarks: ALLITERATION, RHYMES, PORTMANTEAUS, PUNS,
DOUBLE ENTENDRES, TELESCOPING, CREATIVE SPELLING, and
Alliteration is the repetition of a sound in multiple words, such as:
• Belligerent Beard (men’s grooming products)
• Seriously Smooth (hair care products)
• Bouquet Bar (gifts).
Rhymes use corresponding sounds between words or their endings, such
• Tea With Mrs. B. (manners classes)
• Slice & Dice (purchase tracking software)
• Skill and Will (workshops and seminars).
A portmanteau is when a new word is formed by fusing together two or
more parts of existing words. Creative portmanteaus can make for terrific
trademarks that are creative, suggestive, and capable of strong legal
protections and powerful branding. Here are several examples recently
filed in applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
• Hazelberryana (crepes)
•Adventurally (racing and rally events)
• Clicksuasion (podcast about business and marketing)
• Trendency (polling and market research services)
Some well-known brand name portmanteaus include:
A pun or play on words is another way to create a fun and memorable
brand. For example, these witty brand names are bold and leave an
• Knot Today (hair care products)
• Back to the Futon (furniture)
• Brewed Awakening (coffee shop)
• Planet of the Grapes (wine shop)
• The Leaning Tower of Pizza (restaurant)
• Herb ‘n’ Renewal (spices and herbs)
• Paw & Order (dog training)
• Best in Glass (fruit juices)
• Pod Save America (podcast)
• Blazing Paddles (bar featuring table tennis)
• Lord of the Pies (baked goods)
• Mr. Mow It All (landscape services)
• Gear Prudence (newspaper column with bicycle advice)
• Shakesbeer (beer ‘brewed as you like it’)
• Chews to Make a Difference (vitamin supplements)
• Ryeday the 13th (beer).
Double entendres play off of words that are capable of more than one
meaning or interpretation, such as:
• Meat Here (restaurant)
• Staples (office supplies)
• The Farmacy (natural foods store).
Telescoping takes two terms and overlaps them, such as:
• Plantioxidants (cosmetics)
• LYNNSIGHT (coaching and training)
• Vitaminsurance (vitamins).
Creative spelling generally doesn’t make as bold an impression as the
tools above but can still lend some creativity and zest to a name, such as:
• Wagz (pet store)
• TH3RD BRAIN (talent management)
• AUTHEN2CATE (online security).
Provocative phrases make the viewer stop and think, and they provide
solid slogans to accompany bold brands, such as:
• The Question Is The Answer (consulting)
• Shave Yourself A Fortune (razor blade sharpener)
• The Smartest Distance Between Two Points (online career