Choosing a brand name is one of the most important components in launching a new product, service , or company. Brand names can be descriptive, telling consumers exactly what it is being sold. Examples: CARTOON NETWORK, HOTELS.COM, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, THE WEATHER CHANNEL, eFax.
Brand names can also be arbitrary, having no real connection with the product or service or even being a made up term. Examples: EXXON, KAYAK (travel site), YAHOO!, PANDORA, STARBUCKS.
In between descriptive and arbitrary names are suggestive ones. They tell the consumer something about the product or service. But in a creative manner so that they are not plainly descriptive. In my opinion, suggestive brand names are the best. While arbitrary or coined terms can get even stronger legal protection, they are harder to market. Consumers may not connect the dots (absent a gigantic advertising campaign) and know what the name arbitrary/coined name is for. As a result, I advise those launching new brands and new businesses to chose suggestive names.
Here are some examples of great suggestive names:
LOX STOCK & BAGEL
THAI THE KNOT
TOSSED (salad restaurant)
BEAN AROUND THE WORLD
Versus (sports TV network)
BootLeggers (footwear store)
What are your favorite suggestive names?