The Growing Challenge of Landing an Original Brand Name

The Growing Challenge of Landing an Original Brand Name

David Placek, Lexicon’s President and Founder, discusses the incredible challenge of developing a unique and distinctive brand name.

“Of course, creative naming is nothing new, said David Placek, who heads Lexicon Branding, a company in Sausalito. Businesses like Flickr and Lyft, he noted, are actually copying older American brands who took creative license with spelling.

Think of Trix cereal, which started in the 1950s. Or Infiniti, a line of cars that’s spelled with an I at the end instead of a Y, that Nissan put on the market in 1989, two decades before anyone had even heard of Lyft.

Like it often does, Placek said, Silicon Valley is just amplifying a longstanding trend in capitalism. The more stuff that’s made, the more abstract companies have to get with their names to stand out from the crowd.

Names used to be a lot more literally connected to a company’s products and services, Placek said. “Long gone are the days of Craftsman tools or DieHard batteries.”

Now a name has to work as a website domain, in social media and in multiple languages. It needs to fit on a tweet and hold up in places as disparate as, say, Alabama and Algeria.”

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