Why Compound Names Win in Today’s Marketplace

Why Compound Names Win in Today’s Marketplace

Compound names are highly effective at communicating original ideas.

The majority of naming briefs that Lexicon receives identify short, single, real-word solutions as a top priority. There are many successful single real-word brands in the marketplace (Apple, Amazon, Target) and they have some proven benefits to their names: 

  • They evoke strong, tangible associations.
  • They will be understood by speakers without needing to be defined. That is to say: these names are accessible. People can wrap their head around the concept without too much work. 

Lexicon has named many successful products and companies using real-word solutions:

Impossible Foods, Intel’s Atom Processor, Tidal, Gimlet Media, Facebook’s Portal Device, Nissan’s Rogue, Microsoft Azure

However, single real-word solutions can be less effective at communicating new ideas and more challenging to protect as trademark classes are extremely cluttered. 

Lexicon believes that compounds offer an expanded universe of opportunity. According to Morning Consult’s “Fastest Growing Brands of 2019,” three of the top five brands have a compound name:

  1. DoorDash
  2. White Claw
  3. Postmates

“Compound names grab attention, provide clarity and remain timelessly effective,” said David Placek, Creative Director and President of Lexicon Branding. “Combining words allows the brand name the potential to be more suggestive, while also creating the opportunity to employ unique, unexpected combinations and memorable patterns. Lexicon has created many very successful compounds over the last 35+ years in the naming business.”

Compound names in Lexicon’s portfolio:

Apple’s PowerBook, General Motors’ OnStar, Adobe’s InDesign, Colgate’s Optic White, Sonos Trueplay, Blue Nile

Lexicon encourages clients to open their minds to compounds (and other creative approaches beyond single real-words). This provides creative teams greater flexibility to create stand-out brands in a very cluttered marketplace. The ability to intermix ideas in a compound name makes them particularly effective in signaling innovation, thereby helping to establish a new category or reshape an old one.