What are alphanumeric brand names, and when should you use them to identify your business?
Today’s companies have a multitude of options available when it comes to choosing a memorable moniker. Some organizations attempt to keep things simple by using a descriptive term, capable of telling clients everything they need to know about what the brand does.
Other companies prefer to be more creative, inventing new names from scratch or combining multiple words to elicit a particular emotional response. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong way to name a brand.
The right option for any business will depend on its audience and the specific identity the company wants to convey.
Alphanumeric brand names are unique in their ability to combine both words and numbers into a new title. Usually, these names are more common in identifying products, particularly in the automotive world. However, many examples of alphanumeric names exist for businesses to consider.
Today, we’re going to explore the nature of the alphanumeric brand name, the benefits it can offer, and the potential downsides companies may need to be aware of.
What is an alphanumeric brand name?
An alphanumeric brand name is a company moniker that combines well-known words with numbers. Think of companies like Five Guys, Forever 21, or 23andMe, for instance.
The alphanumeric name is somewhat less common than other types of brand names, for a number of reasons. Many businesses need help determining how to use the number in their name to achieve the right effect. Do you spell out the number or use the designated characters?
An alphanumeric name can only be clear with the proper branding and marketing strategy.
However, it can also be highly beneficial when used correctly. The most effective brand names with numbers use digits to provide extra information about a company while simultaneously differentiating the organization from its competitors.
Like specific shapes or colors, human beings form emotional or psychological connections to specific numbers. Some digits are perceived as lucky or unlucky, depending on a person’s background.
One example is the number “13.” The number “13” may be seen as unlucky in the western world, while the number “1” is often associated with excellence and success.
Similarly, numbers can provide insight into the nature, history, or values of the business. Forever 21 chose the number 21 for its name because the founders believed 21 was the most desirable age. 23andMe chose its number to reference the 23 chromosomes examined by the organization’s DNA tests.
The key to success with Alphanumeric business names is ensuring customers have a clear understanding of why the number was chosen and what it actually means to the brand.
What are the pros of alphanumeric brand names?
Like most naming devices, alphanumeric brand names have their own distinct pros and cons to consider. Companies often avoid these numbers because they can seem less creative and compelling than more inventive terms.
Similarly, in the digital world, where consumers spend significant time searching for information about a brand online, it can be challenging to know whether to spell the number or use the associated digits.
However, alphanumeric names also have a lot of benefits. They can convey a deeper meaning than a word and are often more convenient to trademark than some descriptive names. Some of the biggest benefits of alphanumeric company names include the following:
Alphanumeric names can be evocative and suggestive. We’re taught to associate specific numbers with certain things from an early age. The number 360 is related to universal or comprehensive coverage.
The number 180 reminds us of turning something around or looking at a concept from a new perspective.
Adding a number to a name can make it more distinctive and unique compared to many of the common names in the world today. This is particularly true when a company uses digits, as they’re less likely to appear in the branding world than letters and words.
This could mean brand names with numbers are more likely to stand out.
Because many numbers provoke the same ideas regardless of where you are, they can help make a name more appealing to a broader audience. Most people associate the number “1” with something successful or a degree of excellence.
It can be challenging to gain ownership over a name that uses just a well-known word. However, adding a number makes the title more distinctive and allows companies to access a trademark or copyright more easily.
Accessing the right domain name for your company may even be more manageable.
Branding with numbers gives companies a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating brand assets like logos. There are various ways to showcase words and numbers in conjunction to earn a specific response from customers.
What are the cons of an alphanumeric name?
As mentioned above, the biggest issue facing companies with alphanumeric brand names is how complex they can be to find and search for. In today’s digital world, consumers typically type the name of a company they’ve heard of into Google to find more information.
Misspelling the name using numbers instead of letters could lead clients to the wrong website.
The biggest issues companies using business names with numbers will need to consider include the following:
If consumers aren’t sure whether to use a spelled-out number or a digit when looking for your name online, this could send them to the wrong website. There’s even a risk that competitors could steal some of your clients.
Although the meaning behind some numbers is universal, not every consumer will know exactly what you’re trying to convey with a number straight away. For instance, the name “Six flags” might not make much sense to customers at first glance.
Some people may consider names with numbers to be more boring and less engaging than an inventive or distinctive name. Brands will need to ensure they have a good understanding of what their customers like to see in names before they choose this option for their moniker.
Famous Alphanumeric brand names (examples)
Choosing any name for a business can be a confusing and complex process. The proper name needs to be evocative and meaningful to capture an audience’s hearts and minds. However, choosing a memorable name isn’t enough.
Companies must also ensure their title is unique, suitable for trademarking, and relevant to their target market.
If you’ve been considering the benefits of alphanumeric company names, look at some examples of successful brands leveraging this strategy.
Launched in 2008, Life360 is a California-based tech company that delivers location-based services to consumers. The Life360 application allows friends and family members to share their locations with each other.
Primarily, this solution helps parents and guardians keep track of children and offers peace of mind to those who worry about their loved ones.
The name “Life360” is a portmanteau title combining the term “life” with the number “360”. The company chose the number “360” to convey the comprehensive view they give their audience of the location of their friends and family members.
We associate 360 with the degrees of a circle, a shape associated with completion and holistic coverage.
One of the better-known company names with numbers in the world today, 7UP is the title given to a famous global soft drink. Since the brand was originally introduced in 1929, many theories have emerged about why the number 7 was chosen for the name.
Most experts agree the “7” is likely to reference the number of core ingredients used within the formula for the drink. However, some people believe the “7” is evocative of the atomic mass of a specific component in the original recipe: Lithium.
The “7” may also be connected to the fact that 7UP used 7-ounce bottles for its drink, compared to the 6 ounces of Coca-Cola.
Another famous alphanumeric brand name worth mentioning, 7-Eleven is a convenience store chain in America. Founded in 1927, the brand was initially called Tote’m stores, referencing the idea that consumers could “tote” their goods away from each location.
Eventually, the brand chose to change its name as a reference to the unique operating hours of the business. The company was one of the first to open between the extended hours of 7 am and 11 pm, which helped it to appeal to a wide range of consumers.
One of the better-known fashion retailers in the world with an alphanumeric name, Forever 21 is a clothing brand most famous for selling “fast fashion.”
Initially, when the brand sold clothes taken from the Korean landscape, it was called “Fashion 21”, but it eventually changed its name as a way of highlighting the specific meaning behind its chosen number.
According to the creators of the store, the number 21 was picked because the founders believed it was the most “desirable” age for most. 21 is the age when most people in America are old enough to drink and engage in various other activities.
At the same time, these individuals still have their whole lives ahead of them.
As mentioned above, “One” or “1” is a relatively popular number for companies attempting to reference excellence and superiority. The Capital One brand, which launched in 1994, took advantage of the existing meaning behind this name to convince customers their services were the best.
The number “One,” spelled out in the title, helps strengthen the brand’s image and position them as the top choice for all banking and credit card solutions. It may also reference the fact that the brand started out with only one service to offer: credit cards.
Perhaps one of the more confusing company names with numbers in our list, Six Flags might not make much sense at first glance. As one of the most popular theme parks in the United States, Six Flags is well-known across the American landscape.
According to the leaders of the company, which launched in 1961, the name is a reference to the park’s themed areas.
Each themed area is modeled after the six countries whose flags were associated with Texas throughout the history of the state. This title’s unique meaning helps the brand stand out as a historical, sophisticated theme park.
One of the more modern companies on our list of businesses with alphanumeric brand names, 23andMe was initially founded in 2006. The company specializes in DNA tests which allow consumers to learn more about their genetic history and lineage.
Specifically, 23andMe examines the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a standard human cell.
The number in the company’s name helps to highlight its scientific focus and thought leadership in the DNA space. 23andMe also benefits from a fun, easy-to-say, and easy-to-remember name, because the words and numbers rhyme.
The Four Peaks Brewery, based in Arizona, started life in 1996 and is currently owned by the AB InBev brand. The name of this company is a reference to the origins of the business. The “Four Peaks” are a set of mountains known as the “Mazatzal mountains” in the National Forest of Tonto.
The name matches the company’s branding perfectly and helps draw attention to its history in the US. Four Peaks’ name may also be a good way for the brand to connect with its target audience and make itself seem more “regional.”
Known to some consumers as Five Guys Buyers and Fries, Five Guys is a fast-food chain focused on French fries, hotdogs, and hamburgers. The company launched in 1986 and chose its name as a reference to the family behind the organization.
Janie and Jerry Murrell had four sons. All of these sons worked with their father on building the business, hence the “Five Guys” name. When the couple had another son later, the name eventually became a reference to the various children of the Murrells.
Tips for choosing alphanumeric business names
Brand names with numbers can generate phenomenal results for businesses, but only when they’re used correctly.
Before you begin exploring the potential of business names with numbers, it’s essential to take some time to think about the kind of brand image and personality you want to convey. Each number is an opportunity to say something different about your company.
Some digits naturally appeal to a broader number of people.
For example, studies tell us that number “7” is the most popular worldwide, while the number “1” is the most commonly associated with excellence. Depending on where you run your business, specific numbers may also appeal more to female or male audiences or people of a particular age.
If you’re inspired by the examples of alphanumeric brand names mentioned above, here are some tips to help you choose your own number-based name:
Do your research
Just as colors and shapes can have different meanings for different groups, numbers can evoke various unique emotional responses. Before you choose a specific number for your name, ensure it has the right connotations for your target audience.
Before you commit, it may be worth testing your potential name on a range of consumers.
Decide on digit or word
When you bring a number into your name, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to use the word for the number or the character itself. Using a digit on its own can save you some space if you’re looking for a short and compelling name.
However, spelled-out words can sometimes be more memorable.
Examine the competition
Before you commit to any name for your business, you must check whether other companies are using something similar. Your moniker should be entirely unique for you if it’s going to differentiate you from other brands.
Avoid anything which may look too similar to an existing brand.
Plan your branding
If you’ve narrowed your name down to a few alphanumeric options, it might be worth creating a few placeholder logos and experimenting with color schemes.
This will give you a better idea of how your brand is going to look and whether your name will make sense from a holistic perspective.
Once you’ve decided on a name, make sure you can trademark your moniker and purchase the correct assets associated with it.
Buy the .com domain associate with all potential spellings of your name, so you can ensure you don’t lose your customers to any other competitors.
If you’re struggling to come up with effective alphanumeric brand names, the easiest option may be to seek help from a professional naming agency. A company with years of experience in the naming landscape will be able to do the due diligence required to ensure your moniker is successful.
They can also assist in guiding you away from potentially dangerous titles.
Are brand names with numbers a good idea?
There are examples of alphanumeric brand names worldwide today, in industries ranging from technology and fashion to beauty and science. Brands with numbers or adding numbers to your name can effectively differentiate your brand and create a unique identity for your business.
However, just like any naming strategy, there are pros and cons to alphanumeric names.
Before you choose a business name with numbers, do your research and ensure the numbers you pick resonate with your target audience. Take your time to evaluate the market, and explore your naming options before committing to something.
Remember, the best brand names are both distinctive and meaningful.
A number should be more than just a way to make your name slightly different from something else that already exists in your industry. It should also convey valuable information about your business, its history, what you do, and what your mission might be.
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