05th Apr 2018| by

Creating Sticky Brand Names

Chewing Gum on Sneaker

New Brand Names. The new challenges.

In the olden days (just a few years back really) it seemed so much easier to name brands. Today most brand naming briefs we work on have a few mandatory requirements  – “… we want a super short name. Can we have the dot.com and the dot.com.au to go with it? And please make sure we can trademark it before you present it as an option”.

Yes, it’s becoming harder to come up with a memorable, unique, usable, short brand name (particularly if you want the .com to go with it). But it is still entirely possible to dig deep and find sticky names that work with your brand strategy. And when you nail one – damn, it feels great.

Here’s a few we’ve created. Australian Music Vault, Yousli, Outdoria & Marketplacer.


Brand Names and Brand Marks by Brands to life

A few tips for creating brand names.

Of course you’re going to have a crack at coming up with a sticky brand name for yourself before you talk to a creative agency. Why wouldn’t you? Naming might be challenging but it’s also fun.  So before you give it a go, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Start with locking in your brand strategy.

You’ll want to have something objective to judge your name options against. You want to choose a name not just because you like the sound of it but because it works with your strategy and doesn’t fight against it.

Give yourself options.

Come up with a short list of favourites, then start researching to see if you can register the name, get the url and trademark it before you fall in love with just one of them. As mentioned earlier, so many names are already taken so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Here are some resources below to review your shortlist against. While you can do this initial research we’d also recommend you check with IP lawyers to ensure the name is legally protectable. If you don’t already have one take a look at Studio Legal studiolegal.com.au


Business Registration:
ABN Lookup
ASIC Business Name Availability 

IP Australia 
World Intellectual Property Database


URL taken? Don’t despair.

If you find a name you love, you find that you can trademark but you can’t get the url you want, don’t despair. Think beyond the literal. Add an extension ie weare(your name).com,  (your name)group.com, hello(yourname).com

More food for thought on brand naming

And here’s some additional food for thought… the background to how some other rather well known businesses have come up with their brand names. But keep in mind – some of these have become great and famous brand names because of all the time, effort and budgets spent communicating them. Like babies, they were named and then (with nurturing/marketing) have grown into their names.

Brands who have named based on ‘why they exist’

Named by founder Jack Ma, who saw his company being able to open the door to small and medium sized businesses….  He thought “open sesame” leading to the name Alibaba.

Founders of Airbnb created the name based on the air mattresses they used when they were renting out their San Francisco digs during a design conference.

Name a brand by creating a portmanteau

This basically means you coin a new word by smashing some relevant words together and see if they sound good. Ie Breakfast and Lunch = Brunch

Instant Camera + Telegram = Instagram.

Pokemon is pocket monsters or “Poketto Monsut?” in Japanese.

LEGO is a contraction of “leg godt,” a Danish phrase meaning “play well.”

Make a brand name personal

IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. — It’s based on the founder’s name (Ingvar Kamprad), his farm from his Childhood (Elmtaryd), and hometown (Agunnaryd).

McDonald’s was named by the McDonald brothers…. no further explanation required.

Acronym brand names

It can be the low hanging fruit of Brand Names, easy to develop but hard to make memorable or at least memorable for the right reasons.

TED The merging of Technology, Entertainment and Design. Memorable for all the right reasons.

ANL Australian National Line. Know what they do?


Good luck with creating your short list, but if you’ve tried everything and you’re still having trouble deciding on the perfect new name for your brand, get in touch with us. We have years of experience, naming workshops to undertake and loads of other brand name creation ‘tools’ up our sleeves. Creating a new brand name might be challenging but bringing brands to life is a challenge we’re always up for.


By Anna Rogers
Anna is the Managing Director at Brands to life®, an award-winning branding agency that creates memorable and authentic brand experiences.  With over 25 years in the communications industry,Anna is focused on the emotional connection between brands and people. Launching or relaunching brands, making them relevant again, helping brands catch up to and surpass the competition or just breathing some new life into brands. Refining brand strategy to solve problems and drive growth for businesses is what gets Anna up each day. Usually way to early.