Names have power.
When your naming strategy works, it does incredible things for your company.
The right names leave a lasting impression on your audience or entice them to learn more about your brand. An excellent name can even boost your chances of word-of-mouth marketing, by ensuring that people want to say your title out-loud.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people out there that rush the naming process.
When you’re launching a startup, you may focus on your products, services – even the image you want to project to your audience – that means you forget all about the necessity of a name.
However, your title establishes your company’s foundations like no other asset. It ensures that you have what you need to differentiate your organisation, attract the right customers, and create endless advocates in your community.
Here, we’re going to help you to see the true value of a name.
We’ll be looking at some of the top brand names in the world today, what it takes to create an unforgettable moniker, and how you can learn from the greats.
Your top brand names list: What does it mean to have a 'top' business name?
Before you can begin building a top brands names list to consider with your team, you’ll need to know how to separate an amazing title, from a sub-par one.
Your company’s brand name is an emotionally-fuelled asset. It’s designed to affect the way that your customers, stakeholders, and employees think, and act. As such, everyone seems to have their own preference when it comes to choosing the “best” titles.
However, there are some features that many top brand names have in common.
For instance, one of the most compelling features of the top brand names in the world is how instantly recognisable they are. We all know that a lower-case “I” in front of a noun means that a product probably belongs to the Apple family.
Similarly, some of the top brand names become such an inherent part of our language, that they can transform into nouns or verbs. For instance, “Google” isn’t just a brand name anymore; it’s the synonym we use to refer to digital search.
However, while these titles share a similar power, they’re not necessarily the same kind of name. There are many different flavours and backgrounds that top brand names may have – and they all have the power to become iconic. For instance:
- Vodafone: This name is a combination title that links “Voice” “Data” and “Phone” – it’s one of the best-known communications companies in the world.
- Neologism: “Wii” is an entirely made up word designed to highlight the fun of playing with an immersive video game console.
- Founder name: Disney is a name taken from the company’s founder “Walt Disney.” It’s also a fun and playful term that fits well with the brand.
- Descriptive: ToysRUs is a descriptive name that explains what the company does in an exciting way.
- Initialism: UPS stands for United Parcel Service – it gives authority to the company, without forcing customers to remember a long and complicated brand name.
Usually, the most effective names are the ones that drive an emotional response from your customers. That’s something you’ll see as we continue to explore the top brand names in the world.
For instance, Nike is all about heroism and winning. Apple is about simplicity and innovation. Google even comes from a mathematical term that highlights the size of the business.
So, how do you create your own top brand names list?
What to look for in top brand names
On the surface, your brand name is a simple business asset that allows customers to identify your organisation.
It’s how they separate you from your competition.
However, there is so much more that goes into the top brand names in the world than most people realise. Choosing the right name requires careful thought and consideration. After all, get your title wrong, and you could end up sending the wrong message to your target audience.
When you’re choosing the ultimate title for your organisation, make sure that it has the following characteristics:
1. Top brand names are memorable
You need your customers to remember your business name without any additional prompting. If you see a name online and a week later, you’re struggling to recall it, it might not be the brand name that you’re looking for.
A good way to make sure that your top brand names list is full of memorable options is to select simple titles. The easier it is to pronounce a name, the easier it is for your customers to keep it in mind. Additionally, the best titles are usually spelled the way they sound. When Xerox (the photocopying company) first emerged in the marketplace, the company probably had a few issues with spelling and pronunciation. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that anyone would struggle to pronounce the name “Alphabet” (Google’s parent company).
2. Top brand names stand out from the crowd
Brand names need to be memorable if they’re going to create the right buzz among your audience. There are millions of businesses around the world today. If you want your company to stand out, then you need to make sure that you don’t just blend in.
Usually, this means avoiding names that are too generic or descriptive. Top brand names evoke emotional responses from an audience, rather than just explaining what your company does. While descriptive titles do have their benefits, they can eliminate the curiosity and mystery that drive people towards your company. They also rarely have the emotive impact of creative terms.
Look at Amazon.com, for instance. Amazon may not be the first name you’d choose for an online marketplace. However, it makes sense when you consider how large and exotic the store is.
3. Top brand names are evocative
Crucially, just because your title doesn’t need to explain what your company does in detail, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t make the essence of your business clear. You’ll notice that top naming agencies like Naimeo separate our naming options into different categories based on their industry impact. That’s because certain sounds and letters appear more natural in specific sectors.
The name “Innocent” is perfect for a smoothie company, but a title like “Xerox” would seem out of place in the same industry.
When creating your top brand names list, look for titles that highlight your nature, without being obvious. For instance, the name “Google” simultaneously pulls to mind thoughts like “Googolplex,” and even “Googly eyes,” which link back to “searching.”
4. Top brand names have visual vigour
Studies suggest that we’re more likely to remember things that we can see or visualise. Most companies work on adding a visual element to their names when they create a logo. Top brand names and logos frequently go hand-in-hand. That’s why it’s so important to choose a brand name that you can translate into a visual entity.
However, there are other ways to give your name visual vigour too. For instance, when you’re browsing through your top brand names list, think about what each title makes you imagine. The name “Caterpillar” seems like an odd choice for a heavy machinery company.
However, when the name was chosen in 1925, a photographer noted that the tractors looked like a caterpillar moving across the ground. The word “Caterpillar” draws to mind that unique image.
5. Top brand names are versatile
Finally, another crucial characteristic of the top brand names in the world is that they’re timeless.
What does that mean?
Simply put, your brand name should grow at the same pace as your business. A title that restricts you to a specific industry or target audience will stop you from reaching your true potential. Remember, all companies strive for growth. If you’re holding yourself back with your name, then you have a problem.
As an example, Wrangler didn’t just choose the name “Jeans” to represent what they sell. Instead, the organisation adopted a brand name intended to appeal to cowboy-style customers. The open and versatile name means that Wrangler can now create any kind of clothes or accessory it likes.
Top brand names and logos: Learning from brilliant branding
Still struggling to identify the ultimate title?
Sometimes, examining the top brand names and logos doesn’t just mean looking at the most famous and lucrative companies in the world. Even newer organisations and lesser-known brands can teach us a thing or two about building the perfect brand.
One point to keep in mind when you’re making your naming decisions is that top brand names and logos often go together like salt and pepper. If you want a strong identity, you need to make sure that both your logo and your name resonate with your target audience.
This ensures that instead of just relying on linguistic memory to keep your business top-of-mind, you can also create a visual reminder of your organisation.
Here are 3 great up and coming companies that show you how to link logos with your brand name.
Ever wished that your drinking choices could be more scientific? Vinome is a company that takes wine tasting to the next level. The business analyses your DNA to determine what kind of flavours you’ll be genetically predisposed to appreciate. Once they know everything about your biological makeup, the company sends you a wine to suit your unique tastes.
The name “Vinome” combines “Vino” and “Genome” to showcase the brand’s unique value proposition. What’s more, the logo uses a double-helix combined with a corkscrew for a brilliant insight into the potential of the organisation.
Lesson to learn: Show off what makes you different!
Lumosity is a digital company that helps everyday people to train their minds by playing interesting games. The idea is to keep your brain challenged as often as possible so that you can make the most out of your cognitive capabilities.
The name “Lumosity” automatically draws to mind the idea of enlightenment. It makes you think about turning on the switch in your brain and keeping those lights on over time. The logo is simple because the business wants you to see training your mind as an easy process.
“Brain training” sounds exhausting, but Lumosity sounds like an easy track to a better, more enlightened lifestyle.
Lesson to learn: Make your name inspiring, but don’t go overly complicated. Clean and simple is a great way to communicate with your customers.
Prodjuice is a health company that sells “nutrient dense” juices that are great for your body and mind. Like Lumosity, the business went for a profoundly simple style, so that you can keep your attention on the product – their amazing choices.
The name combines the words “produce” and “juice” into a word that sounds just like “produce.” Although there’s a small concern that people might accidentally spell this name wrong, the clever title is sure to help customers remember the brand once they find it.
The logo, with the tagline “cold pressed juice” explains what the company offers. The “drip” shape above the “J” in juice also gives a playful and refreshing flavour to the business image.
Lesson to learn: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your name. A fun and clever title can make you more memorable.
The top 10 brand names in the world (by recognition)
The top brand names in the world are compelling because they create an identity that people can connect with. Some amazing titles will even let your audience know what they can expect from your business.
According to a Nielsen Study, names are some of the most valuable assets a company has.
So, what are some of the top brand names around right now?
Here’s a list you’re sure to be familiar with.
- Pepsi: Named after the medical term for indigestion, “Dyspepsia,” Pepsi earned its title because the creator, Caleb Bradham believed that it helped people to digest their food. Before the name “Pepsi” came about, the beverage was simply known as “Brad’s Drink” – not very inspiring.
- Google: Google’s name came from a brainstorming session at Stanford University. The name “Googol” from “Googolplex” was chosen to represent the huge number of search results Google could offer. However, after one of the students spelled the name wrong, the business leaders decided that “Google” was much better.
- Rolex: The creator of Rolex, Hans Wildorf, said that he tried every combination of letters he could think of before he came up with Rolex. One morning, he said that a “genie” whispered the title of his new business into his ear.
- Starbucks: The world’s favourite coffee chain seemingly has a name with very little to do with coffee. That’s actually because the title comes from the first mate in the famous book, Moby Dick.
- Amazon: Jeff Bezos originally wanted to name his online marketplace “Cadabra,” but changed his mind when a lawyer told him it sounded too much like “Cadavar.” The name Amazon (taken from the biggest river in the world), describes the depth and versatility of the business.
- Dove: A company dedicated to delivering health and beauty products for people across the globe. Dove chose its name to convey gentleness and purity. The business believes that women want softness and naturalness in their care products, what better way to communicate that than with a dove?
- Nike: The team responsible for perhaps the biggest athletics company in the world borrowed their name from the ancient Greeks. The Greek civilization knew Nike as their Goddess of Victory. It’s an excellent title for a brand that puts heroism and accomplishment at the heart of their brand.
- Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola was intended to be a medicine before it was a drink. A colonel addicted to morphine; John Pemberton was trying to create a substitute when he created his Coca-Cola prototype. The name comes from two of the ingredients used – kola nuts and coca leaves.
- Nescafe: Nescafe was a staple of life for many people during the second world war. It’s also one of the biggest coffee brands in the world today. The name comes from a portmanteau of “Café” and “Nestle” intended to convey ideas of peace and relaxation.
- Apple: Though the origins of the Apple name are difficult to pin down, most people believe that Jobs chose the title after a visit to an apple farm. The name conveys innovation with links to Isaac Newton and creationism. The connection to the apple fruit also indicates nourishment and “fresh” ideas.
Where to find your top brand names
Now you’ve got plenty of inspiration for your top brand names, how do you find the right moniker?
We don’t all have access to our own genie, like the founder of Rolex.
The good news?
You do have an easy way to track down the ultimate title with Naimeo.
On our website, you can browse through a wide variety of top brand names designed for a range of companies. No matter your industry or preferred style of title, our team of expert naming professionals, are sure to have coined a name that’s perfect for you.
Are you still overwhelmed by the amount of choice?
Don’t worry; we can help with that too. Here are our top 3 tips for choosing the top brand names and logos for your organisation.
1. Decide what you want people to think about your brand
When people interact with your business, what do you want them to think or feel?
Are you hoping that they move through your website with peace of mind, knowing that they can trust you to deliver excellent experiences and high-quality services? Do you want to make your audience smile with an identity that’s playful and friendly?
The personality and essence of your organisation will dictate the kind of name you choose. Once you’ve selected a range of top brand names from Naimeo, test them with your team by asking them to choose 3 words to describe each name. If the terms they use align with the way you want to be represented, you’re on the right track.
2. Plan for the future
At Naimeo, our titles are versatile. That means that they don’t connect to a specific product or audience in any way.
Why is this crucial when you’re choosing the top brand names?
Simply put, you want to make sure that your company can evolve naturally. When you’re looking at potential brand names, make sure that they won’t hold you back in any way. For instance, some names might imply that you only sell a particular product to people from a specific location.
Choosing a creative name from Naimeo ensures that your business has room to grow – regardless of where your journey might take you.
3. Understand the linguistics
Finally, make sure that any name you choose feels natural and easy to say. A title that rolls off the tongue and sticks in the mind is an excellent addition to your brand. At Naimeo, we use poetic devices and linguistic psychology to give your names the perfect rhythm. This improves your chances of word-of-mouth marketing and makes your brand name more memorable.
Remember, many of the top brand names in the world have earned their reputation because they’re short, simple, and they sound great. Consider asking your teams to try saying your name out loud, so you can see which option feels best.
Get ready to rise to the top
Though everyone has their own preferences when it comes to choosing the ultimate brand name, it’s fair to say that some of the top titles have certain features in common.
For instance, many of the top brand names that we’ve mentioned here today are short, simple, memorable, and unique. What’s more, they all have an emotional impact on their target audience.
At Naimeo, our team uses tried-and-tested strategies to curate the most compelling titles for you and your company. That’s why our clients rely on us to help them launch their startups and new business ventures on the right path or boost the impact of their rebranding campaigns.
If you’re ready to transform your company with a list of the top brand names, browse through Naimeo’s library today. We’re sure to have something that suits your style.
To get ahead. Get a great name. From Naimeo.