marketing digital

How to create successful brands

We explain with examples the techniques to create the most famous advertising brands.

Creating a name for a product is a long-term investment, although sometimes it seems like a product of divine inspiration and customers are not willing to pay a lot for something that a marketer seemingly concocts arbitrarily.

The truth is that in the creation of names there is more study than it seems and there is little invention, rather it is the result of research, today we are going to discuss how to create successful brands.

It is true that sometimes the names come out by chance but it is necessary to have expertise in the language so that the name that arises has phonetic qualities so that it works and lasts.

Creating a name is more difficult than it seems, it is a worthwhile investment, as it will last as long as the brand lasts.

Here are some characteristics of a good advertising name and their examples, and then the techniques for creating memorable names.

Characteristics of a good name.
Unique and notorious.

Language is a system of codes, the advertiser must sometimes break codes to create names that stand out between words that sound very similar or that people are very used to saying.

A notorious sound combination is a code-breaking name and should sound different from what people have become used to hearing, like Twingo.

Durable and associable with the usefulness of the product.

For example, the toy brand Lego achieved a great success when creating a unique name with worldwide reach, although in Spanish lego means someone who is not an expert in something, that meaning is not as common as what identifies the great plastic blocks that give infinite possibilities for creation.

The name refers to the cognitive development that this toy produces, as the word Lego is an acronym for leg godt play well in Danish.

Few people know the origin and all over the world only in Denmark speak Danish, but it is not necessary to know the language to remember and play Lego, but the duration of this name shows that they knew how to create successful brands

logo lego
Easy to pronounce and remember.

Although the first point we mentioned that the name must break certain phonetic codes to be unique, you have to look for a unique word, but one that can be easily said.

It is not always easy to think of a global brand with a simple and striking name around the world, since in each language there are different phonetics that make the pronunciation change.

It is the job of whoever creates the name to think of acronyms or ways to reduce the name to make it striking in different languages ​​if you want your brand to be world famous.

For example, for Spanish-speaking countries, the abbreviation for the English brand Head & Shoulders was created, in Latin America, where the bilingualism index was not so good when the brand arrived and the pronunciation is still with a Latin accent.

head y shoulders

Surely people would be ashamed to go to a drugstore and be made fun of by asking for a “hed and sulder” Shampoo, of course they would make fun of it, so the advertisers launched the slogan “order it like h & S” so that sales of people who would stop buying it out of shame at not knowing how to pronounce it correctly

Flexible and adaptable

The name should provide the ability to adapt not only to different languages, but also to different eras and lines of the same product.

For example, Apple devices, which make i the personalization of their brand making it adaptable to many languages ​​and products such as the IPhone, ICloud, IPad, IWatch.


A brand inspires when it evokes what the product wants to project.

For example, Ives San Laurent, despite the fact that many consider that it is extremely difficult to pronounce, makes this difficulty the stratification of exclusivity that the brand seeks.

It is a bit classist, it is true, but it is a brand whose name evokes the characteristics that the product wants to recognize.

Y Saint Laurent

Yves saint Laurent

Legally registrable

Before creating a trademark, make sure that there is no similarity that prevents it from being registered, and also make sure that there are no impediments to this.


In some countries  it is not allowed to register names of ancestral words or indigenous names, which are linguistic heritage.

Avoid negative associations.

If the brand can easily be confused with a different or pejorative subject, it will surely not be a good brand.

Unfortunately sometimes this happens unexpectedly. For example, the Corona beer brand has had to do a huge job to avoid the nefarious association with the Corona Virus, they can no longer change the brand that is so famous, but they must do a strategy to distract that association.

Let’s see a strategy to create names, from semiotics.

The Italian semiologist Umberto Eco writes in his extensive manual entitled Signo (semiologists do not seem to be very creative when inventing names) the four-step process to form a referent, by which a phoneme is elaborated, which may well be used as creative strategy to create names.

Ironic, but semiologists are terrible at putting names, and they use strange words in Latin, surely because they are not interested in selling their concepts.

According to Eco the four appearances of the referent are

The concept: Every name represents a concept, the first thing before creating a name is the concept that you want to evoke (exclusivity, comfort, practicality….)

Relate the form of the statement and the form of the fact it represents. The linguistic form must have some relationship with the form of a fact, that is, the brand must create something that evokes the product, its form or its use.

To look for the similarity between the statement and the form is to find a name that is related to the product.

The icon: visual or auditory, It is a word or an image that synthesizes the product or the concept. A color: Coca-Cola and its red or a song that identifies the brand.

The denoted object. The sign: Finally the sign becomes an object. In semiotics the referent is the materialized object, what can be used, touched, enjoyed.

Advertising wants people to evoke a product so much that they decide to buy it. Iphone makes its users want it so much that they are willing to pay what it costs and they line up to buy it.

Some techniques that have been used in practice to create names are the following.

Mention any component of the product. Pepsi for the pepsin.

Sometimes the ego of the client does not give way and it is necessary to make the product bear some resemblance to its name. It will be necessary to choose it well. Let’s see Adidas is an acronym for its founder Adolff Dassler, it was possible to turn a person’s name into a successful brand.

Evoke the corporate purpose of the company. Ebay was created as a website to combat the Ebola virus, hence its name.

Associate the brand with the utility of the product. The Google brand has its origin in the word googol (originally in English Googol) that mathematician Edward Kasner created to refer to a huge amount.

The word created in 1907 by Kasner’s 9-year-old son when asked how to call a very large number reads as a 1 followed by 100 zeros 10, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

It is such a large quantity that it exceeds the number of atoms that exist in the universe. You can google it to check it out.

Play with foreign languages. When the brand is created in a language and becomes famous it can be an eye-catching sound. For example, Nintendo, which in Japanese means “confined to heaven.”

Go to history. To create a name is to investigate if you consult history or mythology, very interesting ideas arise.

Like the Nike case, whose name comes from the Greek goddess of victory Nike. (They removed the check mark to make the brand universal).

Go to fiction. Finally, you can use a name from a striking story. Starbucks, the famous coffeehouse, is named after a character in the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. To see the whole story of Starbucks with Moby Dick follow the link.

Leave us the comments with other ideas to create names or a brand that you are curious about

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