A company’s name is one of its most valuable assets. It’s how we identify with the brand. And a great brand name makes the company more memorable and desirable.
As you develop your company’s brand name draw inspiration from some of the greats. Here are 13 examples of the best company names:
In 2015 Google launched a new holding company, Alphabet. The purpose of the Holdco is to provide greater transparency to Google’s growing list of interests such as Nest, Calico, Google X, and Google Ventures.
Alphabet won’t become a household name, but it’s a brilliant name for a house of brands. It’s a whimsical play on a conglomerate’s diverse interests and companies. G is for Google, N is for Nest, you get the idea.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com to be the “everything store.” He selected the name “Amazon” because it was a place that was perceived as exotic and different. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world, and Bezos planned to make his store the biggest in the world.
Amazon is a great company name, because it’s experiential. The word has nothing to do with retail and ecommerce, which makes it more memorable.
Apple may be one of the most recognized companies in the world, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Apple is a great brand name.
Apple is another experiential brand name. It’s fun to say, because of the double hard consonants, ap-ple. It also is clearly articulated with a simple illustration, the Apple logo.
BlackBerry was a great brand, and its keyboard was one of its defining features. People loved their BlackBerry keyboards, and many resisted going to iPhone and Android because those devices lacked a keyboard.
The name BlackBerry was chosen because of the original product design. The keyboard buttons resembled a blackberry fruit. The device had a cute shape, and the name fit it perfectly.
Buffer is a social media sharing tool. The service literally lets you buffer your social media posts. Load up the queue, and it releases your tweets and Facebook updates on a prescribed schedule.
Buffer is both a functional brand name with experiential qualities. The brand name does an excellent job positioning the services.
Caterpillar is another experiential brand name. It immediately differentiates the line of heavy equipment. And customers affectionately refer to the brand simply as “Cat.”
The brand name was chosen in 1925. A company photographer noticed the tractor’s tracks resembled a caterpillar moving along the ground. The name stuck.
Google is an invented word. The name was originally “googol”, which is the equivalent of ten raised to the power of a hundred. Googol was proposed to reflect the company’s mission to organize the immense amount of information available online.
The name “Google” happened by accident. Googol was misspelled when the domain name was registered, but Larry Page liked how it looked. Google stuck.
Google works, because it’s distinct and fun to say. Also, it visually works because Google extended the name to visually represent the number of results in a search: Gooooooogle.
George Eastman invented the word Kodak. Eastman liked the letter K, and believed it was a strong and incisive letter. He tried out various combinations of words starting and ending with “K”. He saw three advantages in the Kodak name: easy to trademark, easy to pronounce, no other uses of the word.
Kodak is a great brand name for all the reasons George Eastman described. It’s distinct and phonetically pleasing.
Peps Boys was originally called, “Pep Auto Supplies.” The name was changed because of a policeman who worked near the store. As the story goes, every time the officer stopped a car for not having an oil wick burning during nighttime hours he would tell the driver, “Go see the boys at Pep” for a replacement.
The name is whimsical, and the double hard consonants makes it memorable.
Smucker’s is named after its founder, Jerome Monroe Smucker.
The name sticks for two reasons. One, great advertising like, “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good!” The company doesn’t take its name too seriously, and that’s helped to form a fun, wholesome brand.
Second, the hard consonant differentiates it from competing brands like Welch’s. The consonant makes it fun to say and easier to remember.
Snapple was originally called Unadulterated Food Products. Definitely a boring, nondescript brand name.
The Snapple name came from one of the company’s products, a carbonated apple juice. The founders’ described it as a “snappy apple” drink, which was then shortened to Snapple.
The name is great, because it’s an invented word that phonetically makes sense. You only have to hear the name once, and it sticks in your mind.
Tesla Motors was named after Nikola Tesla, the inventor of the induction motor and alternating-current (AC) power transmission.
Nikola Tesla is synonymous with electricity. The power of relevancy of the inventor’s personal brand provided Tesla Motors immediate gravitas. It signals this company is inventing a new breed of cars based on electric power.
It’s an evocative name with a hat tip to an incredible inventor.
Twitter is one of the best names for a social media company. The word clearly conveys the brand experience.
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, explains “We looked in the dictionary for words around it and we came across the word ‘twitter’ and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information’, and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.”