We have written a new White Paper on Celebrity Endorsements - Pros, Pitfalls, & Principles. Click to read.

What’s in a brand name?

Share this post

Grocery deliveries are getting faster and faster, in a bid to subsidise customer laziness. And as customers, we love it. Need 5 tomatoes? Or one packet of milk? Or only a single packet of Maggi? They are all merely an app away.

Consumers are fast learning new purchase behaviours, and a whole host of q-commerce (quick commerce) brands are launching to cater to them. With India’s q-commerce segment set to touch $5bn by 2025 (according to RedSeer), this is an exciting space to be in.

One such q-commerce brand, Grofers, recently signalled its complete commitment to the cause. They renamed themselves to Blinkit and temporarily stopped serving all geographies where they could not commit to delivering within 10 min of ordering. Commendable commitment. The name change interested us here at WinnerBrands.

What are the key principles of brand naming 101?

A brand name needs to build and own associations in a consumer’s mind. There are several ways to approach naming a brand. But there are no hard and fast rules with three clear exceptions (yes, we will tell you what they are, read on to find out).

Let’s talk about the various kinds of names first.


These types of brand names cue the product or service offered by the brand in a no-nonsense, straightforward, descriptive manner. Think of ChaiPoint, Burger King.


Distinctive, unique and creative names that require some form of consumer education, but can be strong differentiators once established - eg: Dunzo, Swiggy etc.


Short and creative names that beautifully capture the brand essence - the emotions the brand wants to cue in its consumers. Think of Dove (purity and care), Pampers (pampering), Tesla (visionary tech), etc.


Combining 2 or more known words to create a new name that cues the category. Eg: Facebook, Netflix, Instagram, etc.


Names that rely on wordplay for their memorability. Restaurants and eateries are well known for these. Eg: Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, etc.


Names that rely on wordplay for their memorability. Restaurants and eateries are well known for these. Eg: Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, etc.

Founder names

Some founders lend their names to their brands, although this trend is on the way out nowadays - Tata, Ford, Disney, Procter & Gamble etc. are examples of this.


Self-explanatory. These too, seem to be on the way out. Examples include IBM, NASA etc.

And now, the exceptions. What are the non-negotiables when it comes to brand names?
The Three C’s

Consumer Stickiness

The brand name should be memorable and catchy – It should have a nice ring to it.

Clarity test

The brand name should be easy to write and pronounce. To avoid failing the clarity test, remember this rule of thumb. Imagine you are on the phone with a friend. You tell him your brand name. If you then have to spend time spelling out the name multiple times to avoid confusion, you have failed the clarity test.

Cultural and Legal clearance

The name and the domain name should be legally available, without copyright violations and any controversy attached to it. In India, brands also need to be mindful that their name does not have any negative connotations in any of the major regional languages. The next time you hear a brand name, try to apply these principles to it.

Meanwhile, we would love to hear about a few of your favourite brand names. Let us know at freeflowing@winnerbrands.in

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FreeFlowing is a weekly newsletter that makes you better brand builders.
Sign up to get the latest edition every week.

Influencer Marketing - Practice, Principles & Pay-Offs

Please fill the form to receive the copy of whitepaper

We’ll send the whitepaper to your inbox. Check spam folder if you can’t find it.