The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

[WHAT’S IN A NAME?] The art of choosing a brand name

Greyson Sale
REPUTABLE BRANDS. Brands like North Face, Lululemon and Stanley have garnered lasting reputations that make people want to buy their products.

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Netflix, Uber, Spotify, Instagram, Snapchat, Band-Aid, Kleenex, Coca-Cola, Ford, Science Alliance, Nuclear Club… naming is an extremely important part of branding and marketing. More than just being catchy, although that’s important too, the names of favorite companies and groups probably had more thought put into them than one might think. From taking advantage of alphabetical order to capturing the product or service within a name, brand-naming is a science.

There are several key factors to consider when choosing a brand name. First, it should be simple; all of the best brand names are relatively minimalistic. Second, it should be memorable; something striking and casual at the same time that will stick with people. Finally, and perhaps the most challenging, a good brand name invokes positive emotions. This one can be hard to explain, but think of a popular company… does their name feel trustworthy? Supportive? Maybe even cheery? How a name will draw upon emotions is something heavily considered when names are chosen.

Sophomore Malcolm Adams echoed many of these components when considering what makes a good brand name. Adams favors more simple brand names. “To be honest, I think simplicity is really important. […] For example, with SPA clubs like Stock Market Club or Science Alliance, it’s just important that people know what it actually is just from the name. But for big companies, as long as it’s short and easy to remember, then that’s a good name,” Adams said.

However, even when taking all of these strategies into account, there is no right or wrong way to go about choosing a name. Branding and marketing is a holistic process. More than just picking a name, brands have to build a reputation and constantly advertise to maintain relevance. Once a name has garnered some clout, though, experts say, in most cases, it is best to stick with it. Still, sometimes renaming can be good or even necessary. One example of this is the Washington Commanders football team. Originally named the Washington Redskins, the D.C.-based franchise was renamed Washington Football Team in 2020 and then Washington Commanders in 2022, due to the derogatory connotations of “Redskins.” Even so, controversy did arise from longstanding fans who felt that the history and tradition of the team was being violated.

It’s kind of crazy how much value is attached to brand names. Just because it says Nike or whatever on it, everybody wants it, and they only grow in popularity as more people buy the stuff.

— Oliver Thompson

Namesake and legacy are everything in many of the most successful organizations, from the local level, to worldwide. Take the world of fashion, for example: Nike, Adidas, Lululemon, Gucci— what would these brands be without their names? When people buy clothes from these companies, they do so because they have a reputation that precedes them. Whether this reputation is one of comfort or trendiness or it’s just to flaunt the latest Jordans or a Supreme hoodie, this reputation would not exist without the name.

Junior Oliver Thompson thinks that brand names are a huge part of commercialism. “It’s kind of crazy how much value is attached to brand names. Just because it says Nike or whatever on it, everybody wants it, and they only grow in popularity as more people buy the stuff,” Thompson said.

One of the best demonstrations of the value names hold in marketing is with X (Twitter). Since Elon Musk’s rebranding of Twitter to X, the social media platform has seen a 30% decline in the number of people actively tweeting and has lost around 32 million users. Just imagine the repercussions if other companies attempted similar rebrandings— it rarely works.

In the world of marketing, names are of the utmost importance. So, pay more attention to brand names, and consider the influence that names can have when picking a name for a brand or a club. More than anything else, names are what people remember.

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About the Contributor
Greyson Sale
Greyson Sale, News editor
Hi, I’m Greyson Sale (he/him). I work as a News Editor for the Rubicon Online, and this is my second year on staff. At school, I run track and am a member of the Sophomore Class Leadership Council and the Stock Market Club. Outside of school, I love rock climbing and get to compete all over the country. I can be reached at [email protected].

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