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7 ways to make your brand name more memorable

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The creation of a powerful brand name

A brand name is often one of the first things that a prospective entrepreneur thinks of. But these chosen brand names are most of the time not as strong as they could be, at least from a branding point of view. One of the best ways to evaluate your brand name (and logo) is through the use of the validated 6 criteria of Keller (memorability, meaningfulness, likability, transferability, adaptability, protectability and transferability). This post covers one of these 6 criteria, namely memorability.


One of the easiest paths to gain awareness (the start of the creation of love for your brand) is to be memorable as a brand. Having a brandname that sticks inside the head of your (potential) consumer, paves the way for your brand to be loved. I can imagine that this might sound obvious and simple to incorporate, however the creation of a memorable brand name fails way more often than it succeeds. This post will provide you with some tools to make your brand name more memorable. Through 7 tips you should be able to work on your own brandname.

The 7 tips for a memorable brand name

1. Distinctiveness

The first manner to boost your brand name’s memorability is through distinctiveness. If your brand name is distinctive, consumers will remember your brand easier. An example of a distinctive brand name is Yahoo!, which stands out from the other players on the market and also matches two conditions that a distinctive brand name should meet. The first condition is brevity, which can be explained as the time it takes to pronounce a brand name. Memorable brand names are often pronounced relatively quick. Closely related is the second condition, the simplicity of a brand name. Since a complex distinctive brand name is often harder to remember for a consumer, the ease of memorability increases with the simplicity of a brand name.

2. Unusual spelling

Another way to create a memorable brand name is through the use of unusual spelling. Research has found that the use of brand names that are unusual (as opposed to the common vocabulary) are positively related to the memorability of a brand name. The type of unusual spelling could be presented in several ways. One manner of unusual spelling can be found in the brand name/ logo of Toys ‘R us, where the R is represented in a reversed manner. The founder received a lot angry comments from parents and teachers because of the representation of “are” in the characteristic R. While they also disliked the reversed presentation of the R, the representation has however helped in memorability of the brand Toys ‘R us. Another example of unusual spelling is the brand name Tumblr, which seems to be a shortened version for a longer word. Regardless of what it actually stands for, the name Tumblr easily sticks and is therefore memorable.

3. Rhyme

Another tip to raise memorability is perhaps an obvious manner, namely through rhyme. A brand name that has a rhyme causes a sort musical sensation that makes the name easier to remember and more top of mind, where it both stimulates the ease of recall as the ease of recognition. Examples can be found in the American shopping chain: 7-eleven and the power tool manufacturer Black & Decker.

4. Onomatopoeia

The next manner to raise the memorability is through the use of onomatopoeia. The word itself might not make it attractive to integrate this manner inside your brand name, since it is popular spelling bee word. The description of an onomatopoeia in a brand name context is actually quite simple: it describes the use of a word that resembles what the brand is doing. For example, the hamburger chain Sizzler chose a name that resembles the sizzling sound of a hamburger on a grill. While the brand Twitter, with accompanied the logo of a bird, resembles the action of tweeting (the sound that bird makes).

5. Suggestive brandnames

A closely related manner to boost your brandname is through the use of suggestive brand names. This conveys the use of a brand name that describes the relevant attribute or benefit information in a product context. Examples can be found in MasterCard or Booking.com. Because both brand names describe until a relatively high extent what they are offering, it makes them memorable for the usage situations. Consumers who are in need for a certain type of product will therefore think of one of these brands earlier, since it is easier to recall when the usage situation comes to mind.

6. High imagery

Another manner to create a memorable brand name is through the use of a word that consumer can imagine as an image. This effect causes even more memorability if the this image is used as a logo. Examples can be found in the brands Puma and Shell, where the brand name is representing some a known image for consumers. Through this mental association, these type of brands are more easily remembered.

7. Play on words (puns)

A last manner that will be discussed as a way to boost the memorability of a brand is the use of the play on words. People, in general, like a joke and through using humor in your brand name you could facilitate the ease of memorability of your brand. In order to create an effective pun in your brand name it is important to exploit the various meanings of words or phrases that sound familiar, but do have a different meaning. Since this is my favorite way of creating a memorable brand name, I have placed several examples of brand names that use play on words in an effective manner.

What’s next?

In the near future this serie of brand name evaluation criteria will continue. The first post that will appear will cover the meaningfulness of a brand name. See you soon.