Examples of good brand names: Some of the most successful brand names ever
Examples of good brand names from across the globe can offer a fantastic source of inspiration to companies in search of the perfect moniker. While you can’t simply replicate the name of another business, you can explore its origins to help you begin your own naming journey.
Naming your company is one of the most challenging things you’ll have to do when bringing a brand to life. The name you choose will inspire everything from your packaging and visual choices to your business logo. It’s also a key part of how your customers come to identify you.
Unfortunately, just as there are many great company name examples out there, it’s also easy to find a wide selection of titles failing to hit the mark.
If you simply don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing successful brand names, the following examples could give you the launching point you need.
Let’s explore some strong brand names, and where they came from.
The world’s most successful brand names
While it’s easy to assume your logo or product is the most crucial defining aspect of your brand, companies simply can’t survive without the right name.
Your title is how you convey crucial information about your business and what you do to your target audience. It’s an insight into your values, your history, and even your vision for the future.
While some brand names are descriptive, jumping straight to the heart of a company’s mission, others are subtle – intended to encourage creative thought.
Unfortunately, with so many brand names already in circulation, finding the right title can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Let’s look at how some of the world’s most famous brands got their inspiration.
Here are some of the best examples of good brand names…
Alphabet is a holding company responsible for managing a range of Google’s most valuable assets, from Nest and Calico to Google Ventures. While this title might not stand out as a household name to many customers, it’s still one of the most compelling choices for a house of brands.
Alphabet is an evocative name, reminding us of the comprehensive and wide-reaching nature of the brands within Alphabet’s possession. We see the Alphabet as a perfect example of versatility, which makes it a fantastic choice for a diverse holding company.
An almost lyrical example of good brand names, Hyundai feels satisfying to say, with the sounds simply rolling off the tongue. At first glance, the word might not seem like much. However, if we dive a little deeper into the meaning of the word, we discover it translates to “Modernity”.
As a car company focused on innovation, discovery, and development, Hyundai chose its name to showcase its mission and values. The title is perfect for setting the company apart from its competition, and it’s perfect for evoking a sense of emotion in customers.
One of the best brand names worldwide, and an easily recognizable company, Durex chose its name to immediately deliver a sense of peace of mind and safety to customers.
The term “Durex” immediately reminds us of “Durability”, which is something most people want from a birth control company.
According to the brand, the name actually abbreviates a number of crucial terms critical to the company’s value. Durex is a combination of “Durable”, as well as “Reliable” and “Excellence”. It has an immediate impact on anyone who hears it.
If you’re a fan of the digital world, then you’re probably familiar with Reddit – defined as the “front page of the internet”. This phenomenal company chose its name to mimic the term “read it”, drawing attention to its focus on delivering content from around the world.
Reddit’s focus on sharing modern, original content comes through clearly in its name. A loose translation of the word “Reddit” in Latin also means to “render” or submit for approval, which draws attention to the publication process of the site.
Amazon.com is one of the most popular ecommerce marketplaces in the world. It was originally supposed to be called “Cadabra”, before Jeff Bezos received the advice this title sounded too much like “Cadaver”.
The name Amazon, inspired by the Amazonian river, aims to draw attention to the vast size and diversity of the online store.
The Amazon river is the largest in the world, and Bezos wanted to make his company the biggest in the globe too (something he’s doing very well). The name might not immediately make us think of commerce, but it does have an instant emotional impact.
Another great example of how successful good brand names can be Apple’s title might not seem like an obvious choice for a technology company. However, when we dive a little deeper, we see just how meaningful this title really is.
The word “Apple” is something we commonly associate with nutrition, growth, and organic development.
The term also draws attention to the concept of discovery, pulling our mind back to Isaac Newton, and his discovery of gravity when he was struck on the head by an apple when sitting under a tree. The name is short, easy-to-remember, and impactful.
A portmanteau name with phenomenal memorability, Verizon was created after GTE and Bell Atlantic joined forces to create a new company. Rather than simply pushing their own names together, the leaders focused on the values they wanted to convey with their new organization.
Verizon combines the word “veritas” for truth in Latin, with the term “horizon”. This highlights the brand’s focus on honesty, integrity, and imagination. We immediately get the sense of a company with a phenomenal vision, and a focus on the future.
The Blackberry Company might not be something younger audiences are familiar with today, but its failure had nothing to do with its naming strategy. Blackberry chose its name to represent one of the defining features of its phone — a series of small buttons which looked similar to a blackberry.
Similar to Apple, Blackberry also has a refreshing, organic ring to it. The concept of naming a technology company after a fruit helps to connect a somewhat unknown and alien concept to something we can easily connect with growth and value.
One of the better-known beauty and skincare companies in the world, Dove is best-known for selling products designed to help customers fall in love with their bodies. The word “Dove” already has significant meaning for communities all over the world.
We associate the Dove with purity and innocence, which highlights the trustworthiness of the brand’s products. At the same time, the Dove is a symbol of romance and love, something the company wanted to connect with when building an emotional link to its audience.
An amazing reminder examples of good brand names don’t always have to be simplistic. Sometimes, to convey the right ideas, you need to think outside of the box. The name is completely invented, and designed to sound “Danish”, even though umlauts aren’t common in Denmark.
According to the people behind the company, they wanted to choose a foreign and exotic sounding name to separate themselves from other ice cream companies. The exotic title conveys a sense of luxury and indulgence, perfect for a premium brand.
Buffer is one of the more recent examples on our list of successful brand names, but it’s something many people consider to be memorable, and instantly recognisable. The name is wonderfully descriptive, telling us what the social media company allows customers to do.
With Buffer, you can load up a queue of social media posts and “buffer” them according to your schedule. The name positions the service, and gives us a title easy to remember, share, and pronounce. It has all the features of a great company moniker.
At first, Caterpillar seems like an unusually organic name for a company specializing in the development of vehicles and trucks. However, it actually comes from a description of the company’s products.
A photographer noticed the design of the machines reminded him of a caterpillar moving along the ground, and the name stuck.
The great thing about the Caterpillar name, is how versatile it has become. Many professionals now refer to the organization simply as “Cat”, which has its own connections with agility and elegance.
Most business leaders can’t simply rely on a happy accident to name their business. Google was one of the lucky few to discover its name by chance.
The name was originally intended to be “Googol”, which is a mathematical term and makes a lot of sense for a technology company trying to convey the sheer volume of its search results.
However, when the domain name was registered, it was misspelled, and Larry Page decided he liked how the title looked. The word is easy to say, flexible, and wonderfully unique. Today, it’s one of the most recognizable names in the world.
An excellent insight into how individualized the naming process can be for different brands, the Kodak name was chosen specifically for the unique sound it produces.
George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, invented the word because he liked the letter “K”, and felt it was ideal for delivering a strong message. The use of the two “K’s” also makes a clicking sound upon pronunciation.
The clicking “K’s” remind us of the traditional sound of a camera shutter – ideal for a photography company. What’s more, because the name is invented, it was easy to trademark, and fantastic for inspiring memorability.
It’s hard to find anyone unfamiliar with the Sony brand today. The name of this iconic technology company was actually based on the brand’s original product line, which focused primarily on audio technology.
Sony comes from the Latin word “Sonus” which translates to “sound”.
However, according to the founders, the name also connects to the colloquial term “sonny boy”, which draws attention to the idea of young men – the company’s target audience. The title is fun, fast-paced, and easy to say.
When it comes to examples of good brand names, Smuckers ranks towards the top simply because of how fun it is to pronounce. The term “Smuckers” reminds us of smacking our lips together, something we do when we taste something delicious.
The hard consonant sound differentiates the company from other competing brands like Welch’s.
Smuckers is a lot of fun to say, and it’s wonderfully distinctive. There’s something about this word which automatically makes us think of something delicious and mouth-watering.
If you’re familiar with famous beauty and skincare companies, then you know the name “Nivea”. This title, like many of the most successful brand names throughout the world today, was inspired by a Latin term “Niveus”.
This word translates to mean “purity”, and helps to draw attention to the natural ingredients in Nivea products.
Nivea wanted to create a name which made customers imagine their brand as a source of cleanliness, good, and overall quality.
Most people don’t know this, but “Slack” actually stands for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”. However, it’s also a term we associate with taking a break, or giving ourselves some extra breathing room. This is important when you consider the USP of the Slack brand.
The purpose of Slack is to give users an asynchronous place where they can connect with other colleagues and stay on top of work. The word “Slack” makes us think of a friendly and relaxing environment where we can chat and collaborate in peace.
Snapple is a great example of how important it can be to change your name when its not making the right impact. Originally, the company had the title “Unadulterated Food Products”.
However, the name “Snapple” emerged when a founder described one of the company’s products as a “snappy apple” drink.
The invented word is fun and memorable. It’s easy to say and it rolls off the tongue, great for when you want your audience to talk about your brand. You only have to hear this word once and it immediately sticks in your mind.
Tesla has quickly become one of the better-known brand names in the world, and one of the most famous companies of all time. The unique selling point of the company is a clear factor in the founder’s decision to choose this name.
The moniker makes sense because Tesla focuses heavily on the production of electric vehicles, and alternative power solutions. It also draws attention to the concept of invention, something Tesla is heavily invested in with its modern cars.
Another fantastic choice for our list of examples of good brand names, Twitter is a title you’re unlikely to forget any time soon. One of the best examples of a social media company today, the word clearly conveys the unique experience offered by the brand.
According to co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, the team searched through a dictionary for inspirational names and felt the name “Twitter” was the perfect fit. The word evokes ideas of short bursts of sound or information, similar to the small updates we see on Twitter news feeds.
One of the most famous clothing companies in the world today, ASOS chose its name based on the words “As Seen on Screen”. The title referred to the initial purpose of the company, which showcased products customers could buy based on the outfits they’d seen other celebrities wear.
The name was shorted to “ASOS” to make it more memorable and easier to pronounce. It also allowed the company to create a brand-new word for its identity, which allowed for a more trademark-friendly brand.
Easily the most well-known coffee company in the world today, Starbucks took its name from an unusual place.
According to the origins of the business, the name was chosen based on the chief mate on the classic novel Moby Dick, Starbuck, which may explain why the company’s logo features a minimalistic mermaid.
The term “Starbucks” is something easy to remember and say. The use of the word “Star” also makes us think of exploration and quality, ideal for an innovative brand. Starbucks’ name also allowed it to stand out from the other common coffee shop names of the time.
Fun, concise, and memorable, the word “Lego” is a fantastic choice for a company dedicated to the creation of children’s toys. Lego comes from a contraction of two Danish words “Leg Godt”. This translates to “play well”, and highlights the underlying vision of the company.
Thanks to its short and snappy structure, Lego is also fantastic for the company’s branding efforts. It’s easy to position this name on just about any Lego product.
Absolut is one of our top examples of good brand names when it comes to getting all the foundations of business naming absolutely right. The title is easy to say and distinctive, as well as suitable for trademarking, because it doesn’t simply replicate ethe word “Absolute”.
The term sounds somewhat exotic, which makes us think of a premium product, and it has a fantastic ability to evoke a sense of purity. The word “Absolut” is ideal for making us think of a clean, comprehensive, and powerful brand.
One of the most memorable brands of all time, Nike has achieved phenomenal success with its name and logo design. Simple and easy to say, Nike is fantastic for memorability, but it also has a hidden meaning, crucial to conveying the company’s unique values.
The name “Nike” is borrowed from the Greek Goddess of Victory, making it an ideal choice for a company committed to helping everyday athletes achieve their athletic goals. Nike even bases its logo on the shape of Nike’s wings.
Panera is a slick-sounding business name, based on two words: “pan” and “era”. According to Panera’s marketing company, the title came from the company’s Latin and Spanish roots. In Spanish, “pan” means bread, while the Latin term “era” means time or age.
With this title, Panera conveys the identity of a company committed to creating the best possible bread throughout the ages. Together, the term suggests a new age of bread creation.
Checking all the right boxes for brevity and simplicity in naming design, Gap is a title anyone can easily remember and say. It also has an underlying meaning. According to the company, the title is supposed to refer to the generational gap between adults and kids.
Gap’s name reminds us of the disconnect between different generations we usually see in the fashion world, and highlights the company’s focus on younger customers.
Examples of good brand names
There is no shortage of options when it comes to exploring examples of good brand names. There are dozens of amazing monikers out there, from Google to Gap, all with their own unique meanings and hidden depth.
Of course, coming up with a successful brand name is easier said than done. Not everyone can come up with the perfect name overnight, and most companies struggle to find the best brand names to truly highlight what their business stands for.