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6 Reasons Why A Name Is Special For A Person Or Brand 

Written by Steve Creamer on 18 August 2023
6 reasons why a name is special for a person or brand

As people, we seem to have a knack for giving everything a name, but we never take the time to understand why names are special for people and their brands. Names are everywhere in the world, and both people and brands need them to survive. 

Names, no matter how seemingly insignificant they can be, are meaningful in their own ways. Below, we’ll cover six reasons why a name is special to people and their brands. 



1. Names Are Meaningful 

Just as names chosen for newborn children aren’t usually picked at random, brands’ names often have significance that might not be obvious to the casual consumer.

The brand Lock & Co might seem like a random, phonetically pleasing name for a family-owned hat shop, but the business actually got its name 345 years ago when James Lock, who was initially a humble apprentice, inherited the company from his master. The historical value of this brand’s name permeates throughout the business. 

Sometimes names just need to fit with the message a business or person intends to communicate in their brand. Folk, the modern clothing line that has picked up a great deal of steam since its introduction in 2002, communicates an unassuming yet stylish narrative. Cathal McAteer, the brand founder, admitted to the name being a suggestion from a friend. It encapsulated everything that he wanted to communicate in his fashion line: style without the drama: Folk.

Would the brand still work if not for the name? It’s possible and likely, but it’s difficult to assess whether the brand would feel the same and attract the same audience and level of success it has today. There’s value in names—if not to the consumer, then certainly for the people behind a brand. 


2. Names Provide A Narrative 

In real life, just as people are only comfortable going out with friends they know and are comfortable with, people are usually only comfortable buying from places that they resonate with. There has to be something about the brand that invites customers to feel comfortable enough to buy. A good brand name can offer a narrative that creates those feelings. 

A good brand name is never arbitrary. Brand names don’t always have to be real words, and in many cases, they aren’t, but they come with meaning nonetheless and offer a story that customers can get interested in. Floris is commonly used as a Dutch name, but the popular London fragrance brand uses the same name while communicating an elegant, gentlemanly narrative. 

Phonetic symbolism, or the idea that vocal sounds can carry meaning, is common in brands. A good brand name is supposed to evoke emotions in their customers. It has to make them feel a part of something by connecting them to a higher narrative. Brands do this through a combination of their name, marketing, and logo. 

Names can also tell a story about who we are at any given time in our lives; the name given for a brand could represent the owner’s name during a particular time in their life. For example, a children’s toy store owner may want to name it based on their nickname from childhood— “Suzy’s”—rather than their full name— “Susan’s.” 


3. Names Prompt Name-Signaling 

A name can help us infer a great deal about someone without having to see them physically. This concept is referred to as name signaling—what a name says about factors such as your religion, ethnicity, social background, and more. 

A study conducted by economist, David Figilio, revealed that a child’s name correlated with how a teacher treated that child. The child’s name signaled certain expectations about that child’s capability. Something similar happens in branding, especially for influencers. 

It can be argued that names are just names, but they are often implicitly associated with different characteristics. A brand name can “sound” classy, attractive, elegant, and more. Using this logic, brands and influencers can signal to audiences what their business is about without wasting time.  

Using name signaling, influencers and brand owners can also make it easier for their audience to find and identify their business. For instance, you can infer that the London based influencer Sara Kiyo Popowa and her brand “ShisoDelicious”are both food-related.

6 Reasons Why A Name Is Special For A Person Or Brand

4. Reason four on why a name is special - Names Provide Differentiation

Names are unique in the sense that they easily distinguish identities. For example, we know that James Charles, a beauty and make-up influencer, is a different person than Avani, another influencer in the same niche. 

In people and brand names, having a unique name can help you stand out. It needs to be compelling, and when brands are compelling enough, people can be expected to make purchases from them. 

If a brand name sounds too similar to other brands, then customers will treat the product with indifference or like it’s a cheap knock off of the “real thing.” Differentiation is what helps establish credibility in a brand


5. Names Improve Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is how people can recognise a specific brand by its attributes over another’s. For instance, the colours red, white, and blue on a bottle can have people instantly associate those colours with a Pepsi bottle. 

For a brand to be recognisable, it needs to have strong cues. This can take the form of colours, logos, sounds, and—most importantly—names. 

Ultimately, brand names can determine the fate of a brand’s lifeline in the market. The vast majority of customers prefer to buy products from brands that they recognise, meaning that if your brand name isn’t recognisable, you won’t inspire a customer’s trust in your product. 


6. Names Add Trust

Outside of businesses, names can always build trust. By sharing your name with someone, you’re effectively disclosing your identity. Because people interested in branding or influencing are usually using their real name, credibility and trust are enhanced. Using your real name prevents you from being another avatar amongst the millions of users on the internet, so you automatically generate credibility. 

For example, when influencers share their honest feedback about a service or product, it’s taken as a genuine testimonybecause they appear to be a natural and transparent human being, thus strengthening the reputation of the influencer’s name or brand. 

In business, clients often need to feel comfortable before committing to certain purchases. A good brand that a friend recommends is a brand that you can trust and are likely to buy from because a person you know can vouch for their excellence. For example, say you’re looking for a wax jacket because you like its design but don’t know who to buy it from. If a friend recommends you purchase from Barbour, you’ll be more compelled to trust the brand’s offerings.

Customers that like and trust a brand name are much more likely to pay more for a product with that company. 


Final Thoughts

Names matter in life; they impact people and brands differently, but their importance can’t be understated.

Names communicate many different attributes about an individual, for better or worse. A “good” or acceptable name depending on your location, can net you some initially positive feedback. A unique name can make you more likely to be perceived as exciting or mysterious. These characteristics can easily be translated into a brand name. 

Brands benefit from having a unique name because it’s one of the components contributing to a person making their purchase. Recognising a brand by its name allows customers to trust the brand, and when trust is involved, purchases are more likely to be made.



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