• Transform magazine
  • May 26, 2024

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Three sources of inspiration for your next brand naming endeavor

Ahmed Alabdullatif Profile

Ahmed Al-Abdullatif, CEO and creative director at Gene Branding, offers inspiration to designers looking to conjure up a meaningful brand name.

Creating a memorable brand name is both an art and a science, one that requires deep thought and creative exploration. At Gene, our naming practice has refined several methods to inspire and derive meaningful names that resonate with consumers. Here are three key sources of inspiration that can fuel your next branding endeavor.

1. Customer emotions

Understanding the emotional landscape of your target customers can lead to insightful and impactful brand names. Emotions play a crucial role in how consumers relate to a brand. Consider both positive and negative emotions that your brand might evoke. For instance, when naming the bakery brand ‘Mo’, we were inspired by the overwhelming choice consumers faced with our diverse offerings. The name ‘Mo’ comes from the playful rhyme "eeni meeni miny mo", capturing the delightful confusion customers experience while making their selections. This approach connects the brand emotionally with its audience, making the experience memorable.

2. Analogies

Analogies allow brands to transcend ordinary naming strategies by connecting with deeper, often universal themes. Metaphorical names such as Amazon, Dove and Jaguar leverage imagery and associations that are instantly recognizable yet rich with meaning. At Gene, we chose our own name based on the analogy of brands as living entities. This idea led us to the concept of ‘Brand DNA’, and eventually to the name ‘Gene’. This name reflects our philosophy of building brands from their intrinsic values outwards, much like genes form the fundamental characteristics of an organism. Using analogies in your naming process can help encapsulate complex ideas into a single, powerful word.

3. Call and Response

Names that evoke a response or action can be incredibly effective, especially in campaigns that aim to engage and energize an audience. When tasked with creating a unified identity for the Saudi national team fans at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we settled on ‘Giddam’, which means "let's go" in Arabic. This name is not only a call to action but also an embodiment of commitment and support. It's a rallying cry that unites fans and creates a collective identity. Selecting such responsive names ensures that the brand remains active in the minds and hearts of its audience.

Each of these strategies – tapping into customer emotions, employing analogies, and invoking calls to action – can provide a rich vein of inspiration for your brand naming process. By deeply understanding the connections between these elements and your brand's core values, you can craft a name that stands out and endures in the competitive market landscape.