Naming Idea: Combining Familiar with the Unfamiliar

We know unique names are better than descriptive, mundane names. But people don’t like completely new, coined-word names in the beginning. They opt for the familiar.

That’s why most name research will show that people eschew the novel whenever they’re asked to choose between the familiar and the unique. This is a dilemma an entrepreneur faces when naming a company. Unique is better in the long run and is generally the best choice, even though their constituents will pan the name initially.

But there are several naming ideas to combine the familiar and the different, thus avoiding, or at least diluting, the problem.

Here is one of them.

Name idea - replace silent e

Begin by developing a list of familiar words relevant to the product to be named. Usually these are words that might describe a benefit or perhaps a desired emotional response.

They might be descriptive, allegorical or suggestive. Just build as long a list as you and your thesaurus can compile.

Separate those words that end in a silent “e”. Then substitute “a”, “i”, “o”, “u” or “y” for the silent “e”.

This is especially effective for verbs and single-syllable words. Here are some examples of coined words you can generate with this method: hype = hypa, groove = groovo, bake = baku.

You may also substitute short, vowel-beginning syllables such as “an”, “or”, “ite”. More examples: style = stylant,  save = savon, crane = cranus. But note how the word itself is retained, but without the silent “e”. Familiarity is retained while the substituted letter or suffix makes it unique.

There are a couple of other techniques which I’ll explain in future posts.

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