The Art of Linguistic Brand Name Validation. 

Written by Victoria WhitewickVictoria Whitewick

Why is it necessary to have a unique and wacky approach? 

In the world of business marketing, competition is fierce and attention spans are short. Companies are always searching for innovative and creative ways to capture the attention of their consumers. Linguistic brand name validation is the process of evaluating a brand name, from a linguistic perspective, to ensure that it is appropriate and that it resonates with the hearts and minds of their target audience. Brands are infusing more and more creativity into their names to stand out in a crowded market and to create lasting impressions. This article will discuss some of the wacky approaches to naming a brand and how Brand Name Validation is so important to unlocking a brand’s success. 

The Triumph of Gibberish in Brand Naming 

Wacky and unconventional approaches to Brand Naming have disrupted some of the traditional naming conventions. For example, neologisms are when companies venture into unchartered territory. Over time people create fresh words and phrases that have yet to find a place in mainstream language. Using these in brand names ensures variation between brands and a successful brand name validation. 

Google is an example of a company who has revolutionized the tech industry with their made-up term. It has now become a verb in our daily lexicon. The name Google originally came from the mathematical concept of “googol”. A number represented by one followed by a hundred zeros. Google’s name was carefully crafted to convey a boundless amount of information. And true to their name, Google has fulfilled this promise.  

This approach of crafting new names which are entirely unique allows brands to define their own narrative and evoke curiosity among consumers. By presenting the world with names that are unparalleled and distinctive, these companies ignite curiosity among consumers. Some other examples such as Netflix, and Spotify have also successfully ventured into the realm of neologisms, using new linguistic territory that sets them apart from the crowd. 

The Captivating Power of Sounds 

Companies have also discovered the power of creatively using phonetics, sounds, rhythm, and syllable count in crafting names. This captivates and engages consumers on a deeper level and ensures successful brand name validation. In addition, sonic elements have the ability to evoke emotions, create memorable associations, and spark a sense of connection. 

Within the world of branding, a name that instantly stands out is Nike. Just the mention of the word suggests a sense of speed, agility, and movement. The name itself seems to be in perfect sync with the products offered by Nike. Carefully crafted to evoke a sense of dynamism through sound and rhythm. It effortlessly enhances the brand’s identity, leaving a mark in the minds of consumers, who associate it with athleticism. 

Let’s Keep it Short and Sweet  

Syllable count also holds a crucial role in capturing attention and creating an engaging identity. Striking the right balance between brevity and rhythm is often the goal for companies. Take, for example, the names “Apple” and “Amazon.” With just two/three syllables, they effortlessly roll off the tongue and leave a lasting impression. Their concise nature conveys simplicity and clarity, making them easy to pronounce and remember. 

However, not every attempt at creating a compelling name through phonetics, sounds and rhythm is successful. A notable example is the rebranding of Kraft Foods as Mondelez International. The name combines the French word ‘monde’ meaning ‘world’ and the invented term ‘delez’ suggesting ‘delicious’. It has struggled to convey these metaphorical senses to the public effectively. The creation of the new name may have overlooked the complexities of psycholinguistic brand name construction. 

Creating a memorable brand name requires a delicate balance of factors. Syllable count, phonetics, and overall coherence contribute to the name’s ability to resonate with consumers. Ultimately, a successful brand name not only captures attention but also conveys the essence of the brand itself. This is why brand name validation holds immense significance in transforming a brand into a symbol in the minds of consumers. 

The Name Letter Effect 

Even the slightest sounds can captivate consumers and convey a product’s quality. This ties into the well-known Name Letter Effect, from a 1987 study by Jozef M. Nuttin Jr. This effect suggests that individuals possess an unconscious preference for things that are associated with their own names.  

In Leif D. Nelson and Joseph P. Simmons’ groundbreaking study in 2007, they further explore this phenomenon. Their research reveals that individuals named “Toby” are more inclined to purchase a “Toyota,” relocate to “Toronto,” and even consider marrying someone named “Tonya.” On the other hand, individuals named “Jack” have a higher likelihood of purchasing a “Jaguar,” moving to “Jacksonville,” and potentially marrying someone named “Jackie.” 

These findings shed light on the undeniable influence of sound in brand names and its hidden power to sway consumer preferences. Market testing, such as brand name validation is an important tool to allow brands to gauge the initial reaction, perception, and association consumers have with the name. However, it’s a challenging endeavor, for we now know that consumer associations are as diverse as the names themselves. 


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