Naming and Branding Agency

Evocative Product and Corporate Names

One important way that evocative names differ from others is that they evoke the positioning of a company or product, rather than describing a function or a direct experience.

Continuing with more examples of the names of web portal companies:

  • InfoSeek, LookSmart = functional
  • Explorer, Navigator = experiential
  • Yahoo = positioning (Evocative)

Another example – companies from the airline sector:

  • Trans World Airlines = functional
  • United = experiential
  • Virgin = positioning (Evocative)

and finally, from the computer industry:

  • Digital Equipment = functional
  • Gateway = experiential
  • Apple = positioning (Evocative)
The upside:
  • A rare type of name, making it a powerful differentiator.
  • Nonlinear and multidimensional, making it deeply engaging.
  • Helps create a brand image that is bigger than the goods and services a company offers.
  • Trademark process is better than average.
  • When created in sync with positioning, it is a branding force that can dominate an industry.
The downside:
  • When created out of sync with brand positioning, it's an ugly mess.
  • Because evocative names for companies and products are created to compliment positioning rather than goods and services, they are the toughest type of names to get corporate approval for, being a bit of an abstraction for those outside the marketing department.

For advice on how to create and secure buy-in for evocative product and company names, see the Evocative Naming Filters page in the Naming Tools section.

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