Let’s say you receive an email from a woman that you’ve never met. The only thing you know right now is her name. She’s called Mirabel. I bet your first impression will be that she has a sweet and simple personality.

Now let’s say her name is Morticia. Wouldn’t feel a little differently? Even though you may not immediately recall that it is the name of the matriarch of the Addam’s family?

Khiel's, another name for sensuality

For Christmas, my mother offered me a body lotion by Khiel’s - my recent blog post about this brand may have had an impact on her ;). Here is what struck me: the name of the product is "Creme de corps". Which in French means "body cream". But Khiel’s chose to give it a French name.

Why call it "Creme de corps", when the face lotion is more prosaically called "Ultra facial cream"? Simply because, for most people in the world, French language and body language connect with sensuality. I think that’s clever.

A good name should sparkle the imagination of anyone who hears it. Most brand and product names are unfortunately descriptive because companies fear 1) to be misunderstood about what they sell, 2) to be disliked by one group or another.

What will make them tickle?

When a client of mine, who used to sell champagne but now wants to also sell wine, asked me to help him choose a new name for his company(*), here were my guidelines:

  • Be absolutely distinctive on the targeted market - if possible, make the competitors’ names feel uncool or old-fashioned,
  • Intrigue the target enough so it wants to know more about the company’s unique offer,
  • Evoke a specific personality, a set of values and a mission that the audience shares with the company - if possible tell a story that relates to the founder or the company,
  • (And needless to say) Have a domain name that’s still available (usually the most difficult part).


(*) The current name of the company is Plus-de-bulles, which means "More bubbles". In the list of names I suggested, he decided to go with "The Good Wine". A name that perfectly sticks with a simple and warm personality, committed to supporting their customers in their aspiration to have a good time with the people they will share their wine with.Also an homage to Franck Sinatra's The Good Life.

 

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