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7 methods to create a memorable firm identify

2, 2020

6 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Brad Flowers' The Naming Book. Buy it now on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound or click here to buy it direct from us and SAVE 60% in this book if you use code MARKET2021 by 04/03/21.

A company name is done its job when a person pauses for a second. And it's even more valuable if you can remember it long after that hiatus. Memorability is important.

How do you create a memorable name? In a 2003 article in the Journal of Advertising, the authors cited the following characteristics that improve either recall or brand name recognition:

RhymeUnusual spellingOnomatopoeiaInitial hard consonantWordplayBrand name fit

Let's take a closer look at a few, along with a few other factors that affect memorability.


This is not on the list above, but it is worth acknowledging. The same article in the Journal of Advertising states that familiarity plays a bigger role in brand name memorability than the linguistic characteristics of the name.

Repetition is one of the most effective ways to get a name out there. That's the idea behind the advertisement: repetition to create familiarity. Well-known brand names are therefore more memorable because we see them more often. For example, AT&T is one of the biggest ad spend year after year. I certainly remember the name, although it's not inherently memorable. But it's everywhere from billboards to buses, on my phone, and on TV. The brand gains fame through omnipresence. The better known a brand is, the less important voice devices are.


Poets know that, and now also: rhyme helps with memory. While rhyme is common in many formats, this technique is particularly common with consumer brands:

Reese & # 39; s PiecesLean CuisineSlim Jim

Rhyming isn't just limited to food companies. Below are a number of companies that use the device. They don't feel compelled or playful because the parts of the name are related to what they are doing.

FireWireStubHubCrunch ’n Munch

Crunch & # 39; n Munch gives you a clue about the texture and the addictiveness of indulgence. StubHub's rhyme is almost a sentence. Their idea is that you can buy tickets here. And the rhyme of FireWire is a metaphor: you feel like the wire is carrying information quickly. Rhyme can work for more adult businesses if the words give you valuable information about the company or product.

Unusual spellings

Do you keep strength more than the standard craft? Krispy Kreme or Crispy Cream? Research has shown that unusual spellings can make a name more memorable. Building on the previous point about rhyme, here are two names that do both:

The unusual spelling combined with the rhyme enhances the youthful nature of the product and likely its memorability. The trend towards unusual spellings was widespread in the mid-20th century and has spread again, especially on the Internet. A lack of URLs has fueled this trend among startups. Some examples are:

With the availability of more URLs, this trend has slowed. Is there room for you to target an unusual spelling? When Twitter started it was called "twttr" (without the vowels) because was owned by someone else. That trend subsided and got big enough to buy the domain. Therefore the name was changed to Twitter. But remember: there's a fine line between memorable and cute. And your brand might not want to be cute.


This is a big word for a simple idea. Some words sound like what they represent: crackle, crackle, pop, twitter. Some brands use this tool, like the zipper in Zipcar. Does this make it sound easier and faster than its competitor Car2go? What about Meow Mix? Would your cat like it better than Purina Cat Chow? It could be more memorable, especially with variations on the tagline: "Tastes so good, cats ask for the name."

Names that sound the way they represent are more likely to be memorable. Ask yourself if this fits what you're trying to create.

Initial hard consonant

According to research in reading studies, words that begin with hard consonants (t, k, p, d, g, v) are more memorable than words that begin with vowels or softer consonants. They are also considered stronger. In fact, recent studies show that the use of consonants and their placement can affect a brand's perceived gender.

The sound of the consonant is important. Consider a spin-off from Kraft Foods, Mondelez. Mondelez manages brands such as Cadbury, Chips Ahoy, Honey Maid, Toblerone and Triscuit. The name Mondelez is a new word made up of Latin parts like Mundus, which means world. It's supposed to evoke the idea that there is a whole delicious world out there. Compared to Kraft, however, “Mondelez” is downright unforgettable. Of course, this is partly because it's not that familiar, but research suggests that it might be because of the weaker starting consonant, m.

Word game (word games)

A pun (or word game) is a type of joke that relies on some words sounding similar but having very different meanings. Some pun-inspired names are memorable for all the wrong reasons. During a quick search, I came across Bread Zeppelin, Wok This Way and Nin Com Soup. I don't know if they are real, but you should be careful with puns unless you are targeting a specific demographic.

Names that contain puns are sure to grab your attention. They might even be unforgettable. But is it for the right reason? Does it illuminate the depth of your brand or is it just a cheap gimmick? Maybe it's both.

Brand name Fit

Some names sound like they match the other names in an industry. These types of names tend to be more memorable. For example, in a 1998 Journal of Marketing article, "The Impact of Brand Name Suggestions on Advertising Recall," the authors claim that the name "PicturePerfect Televisions" is better at testing memorability than "Emporium Television". PicturePerfect sounds more like a TV brand name than Emporium, so meeting consumer expectations can be positive.

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