How to choose a memorable brand name

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duck fart branding

For a long time the gift market Screaming Rhino has been my favourite brand name. They don’t have a webpage that I can find, and I have no idea what the inspiration behind the name was. It just paints a Roger Rabbit style cartoon rhino in my mind running around hysterically.

I recently found this contender… Duck Fart, perfume eau de cologne ( logo pictured above ).

Clearly aimed at customers with a sense of humour, I use cologne so little that I’ve had the same bottle of Hugo Boss for about 12 years, but I think I’d have to buy this just to see what its like.

To get serious, choosing a brand name isn’t easy, below are half a dozen mnemonic devices for creating a memorable brand name.

Rhymes
Like a song you can’t get out of your head, rhymes work in much the same way. e.g. Curly Wurly, Mellow Yellow and Lean Cuisine.

Provoking imagery
Our brains love imagery, names which evoke clear images are particularly memorable. e.g. Apple, Blackberry and Fox.

Alliteration
Alliteration is a quite common mnemonic device where each word of the brand name begins with the same sound but does not rhyme. e.g. Coca Cola and Krispy Kreme.

Neologisms
A neologism is a new word created by respelling a existing word(s). Accent on the Future = Accenture, The mathematical term googol = Google, Professionalism + proactivity = Protiviti, and so on.

Onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia’s are words that sound like what they stand for. e.g. Bang, clap, crack and snap.

Haplology
Finally Haplology, which requires 3 word brand names and abbreviates the middle word. e.g. Toys ‘R’ Us, Buy ‘N’ Large and Gas ‘N’ Gulp.

So which are your going to use?

Rhyming seems pretty straight forward, perhaps I should have branded myself as Andy Pandy… no, perhaps not.


6 thoughtful comments on “How to choose a memorable brand name”

  1. Jaydee says:

    C’mon, can Duckfart be a real brand??

  2. Andrew Keir says:

    It could be just some fun from a designer Jaydee, I saved the image some time ago and can’t remember where I got it from. Either way it’s not a name I will forget.

    Screaming Rhino is most definitely real. There are some unusual ones out there, that’s for sure.

  3. Paul says:

    Duckfart lol! I’d have to give it a go.

  4. Kate says:

    I am thinking of calling my design business cmykate, as my name is Kate… what do you think? I have asked friends and they are little bit sceptical…

  5. Andrew Keir says:

    Hi Kate,

    As a designer, I get the reference. I suspect your friends may be sceptical as non-designers may not understand it’s in reference to CMYK printing.

  6. Arthur says:

    Kate – I read it as “See My Kate”. It wasn’t until Andrew pointed it out that I got the CMYK reference… But THEN I loved it!


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