Consider the Häagen-Dazs example. The name was deliberately chosen to sound Danish and exotic, despite having zero linguistic meaning. Through consistent messaging, high-quality ingredients and distinctive packaging, Häagen-Dazs became a household name and a brand synonymous with luxury and indulgence.
In the end, the brand name you choose reflects what it stands for. It’s the first impression that brands make and the foundation upon which a brand's identity is built. So, take your time, be intentional, and don't be afraid to think outside the box. Because when it comes to building a successful brand, the power of a great name cannot be overstated.
The unlikely origins of ubiquitous brand names
Originally called ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web’, the founders eventually settled on the name ‘Yahoo’, which stands for ‘Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle’.
This lyrical name was inspired by the Japanese word ‘Ryū’ for ‘dragon’. Founder Chip Wilson felt that the sound of the word – more than the actual meaning – captured the essence of the brand: comfortable, stylish, energetic and playful.
Founder Robert Kalin wanted a name that was easy to remember with positive, upbeat connotations. The name was inspired by the Italian word ‘etsi’, which means ‘oh, yes’.
IKEA comes from founder Ingvar Kamprad’s initials and the first letters of the farm and village where he grew up in Sweden (Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd).