How to create a unique name for your brand?

What should new business owners do when they are faced with the harsh reality that almost every feasible company name has already been trademarked? Here are some ways modern companies modify their trademarks to make them more distinctive.


Jan Buza

Dropping the vowels

The technique of dropping the vowels takes from the nature of online texting, which seeks to make communication faster and more convenient by leaving out certain words, specifically vowels. Flickr, Tumblr, Scribd, and Pixlr are all examples of companies that have figured out that by removing certain vowels you can simultaneously keep the intended meaning and give your brand name some character. If you are struggling with creating a compelling name for your brand, the stylistic choice of leaving out the vowels may be the right choice for your company because of its conversational style and cultural relevance.

As with everything, knowing your target audience is essential for the success of your business. When it comes to choosing the right name to pique the interest of your target audience, leaving out the vowels can be a powerful tool to reach young, tech-savvy people who are familiar with internet culture. On the other side, if you would like to target older, digital-skeptic masses, dropping the vowels may lead to confusion and even annoyance. Keeping your target audience in mind will assure you are using an appropriate style of language and speech that appeals to them before selecting any brand name.

Adding suffixes

One particularly interesting brand naming technique is the use of creative suffixes. Many startups choose brand names that end with suffixes such as -ly, -able, and -ify to produce action words through verbs and adverbs and make themselves sound more unique. Companies such as Shopify and Spotify were one of the first ones to popularize this brand naming trend. Now there are hundreds of well-known companies that are using this trick, including Calendly, Grammarly, Proposify, and many more.


Another common way brand owners try and overcome the shortage of names is by misspelling certain words in their trademarks. Companies such as Google (googol), Reddit (read it), Chick-fil-A (filet) are all creative takes on existing words that make them sound familiar but more interesting. Misspelled names also make sense because of one interesting human trait that we share. It is human psychology to remember mistakes and unique things more than normal and perfect things. When a human mind reads misspelled words in a brand name, it is more likely to remember them for a longer time. The unique name creates a memorable image of the brand in the human mind and it helps the brand to get the audience’s attention.

Keep in mind that just spelling a name differently doesn’t make it free from potential infringement. If you are using any of these stylistic choices, you should still check the IP database for the real word with the correct spelling using the vowels, and within the right category of products or services to see if there are any other brands that could raise opposition against your trademark. You can find more about the process of trademark registration in our article Common mistakes to avoid when registering a trademark, where we list additional recommendations and things to consider prior to application. 

Time to get creative

Let's face it, coming up with a unique company name might be much harder now than it was some time ago. The good news is that language is flexible and is prone to change according to our needs. Grammatical brand names might have been a default approach for many years, but recently we saw more and more companies breaking conventional language rules to create something unique. So don't be afraid to get creative with your brand names and experiment with different spellings and sounds, as are always new avenues to be discovered.

Jan Buza
Jan Buza

Product Mind

Helped scale portfolio firms for a VC fund

CEMS Prague

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