Useful List: What makes a great brand name?
Search online for "what makes a great brand name" and you'll find plenty of strong opinions. Articles, agency blog posts, naming guides, and even books about naming often contain their own lists of qualities that make or break a brand name. Some lists are long, like Catchword's 10 Naming Criteria. Other lists are simpler: a page on Novanym's site titled "What makes a great brand name?" contains just four bullet points. And some agencies insist it depends entirely on the underlying strategy—that there are no universal qualities of good brand names.
The list below compiles and organizes qualities ascribed to great brand names from a range of different sources:
- A Hundred Monkeys blog post, "Characteristics of the Best Names for Companies"
- The Brand Gap, by Marty Neumeier
- Business Insider article, "Expert Explains What Makes The Best Brand Names So Good"
- Catchword naming guide, Creating the Perfect Name
- Eat My Words SMILE & SCRATCH Test
- Franke+Fiorella, identityWise, Naming: What Makes a Brand Name Great
- The Igor Naming Guide
- Laura Ries blog post, "The 9 keys to naming success"
- Novanym page, "What makes a great brand name?"
This is not necessarily an exhaustive or perfect list of what makes a brand name great—decisions around whether to include and how to categorize items can always be debated. But we've done our best to make the list complete and avoid redundancies. And when we find new ideas and/or new, reputable sources to include, we'll add them to this list. We'd love to get your thoughts; feel free to comment, ask questions, or make suggestions below.
|Quality||Source(s)||No. of sources|
|Easy to say||
|Easy to spell||
|Conveys/suggests key message(s)||
|Matches the brand strategy||
|Relevant to audience||
|Deep, with layers of meaning||
|Domain name availability||
This Useful List will be updated periodically with new list items. Please share any suggested additions in the comments section.