People are always asking me about brand names. Whether it is how we came up with The Pudding or to comment on their business or product name. It is one of the first things people hear or see when interacting with your brand.
The biggest question I get is – should I stay safe or take a risk? There are a lot categories in brand naming but to make things simple – let’s talk Abstract versus Descriptive.
So what’s the difference between abstract and descriptive? Descriptive does what it says. For example www.hoteltravel.com or booking.com. Abstract is the opposite. It is choosing a name that is non-descriptive. For example, and staying with the online hospitality world, www.Trivago.com. It is thought that Trivago is a mix of ‘travel’, ‘vacation’ and ‘go’ which indicates there is reasoning for the name. Such reasoning can be great for your brand story.
The Pudding is all about the Proof of The Pudding – if you work on your brand you will see it in your bottom line figures. So it is an abstract name with meaning behind it.
Choosing the descriptive road can be safe and dangerous all at the same time. When choosing something like www.hotels.com you are blending in with everyone else. SEO can be expensive and I am not getting a sense of who you are. Choosing an abstract name can be risky too. You may be making up a new word that people have never heard before or choosing a name for your business that is not normally related to it. You will have to spend a lot of time explaining to people what your brand name is about. Therefore you may spend a lot of your budget on building brand awareness.
What type of name you choose also depends on the brand strategy, the target audiences you are serving, the products and services you sell etc.
One piece of advice I would give, don’t assume that your target audience wants something straightforward. Assumptions are dangerous in business and nowadays people are a lot more open to something different. The key for me is in the storytelling. I like to sit on the Abstract train but you can choose something different and relevant all at the same time.
I will leave you with two questions – what if Google had gone the descriptive road? What fun would that have been?
Live your brand