Competition to stake a claim on a great brand name is fierce, and companies have always mined language for brand names that trigger the best associative meaning. It’s a tried-and-true part of the branding process. Take the holding company Alphabet Inc, for example: it’s the first result that comes up when you search ‘alphabet’ online. It concerns me that this is first on the list: can SEO really redefine a word that’s been in use for centuries?
It’s increasingly challenging to find the right name for a brand: one that not only works, but that’s also legally available. The flood of the double ‘o’ words offers something of an insight into those challenges: we have Google, Zoom, Goop, Zoosk, Xoom, Moo, Noom, Yahoo, and hundreds of similar variations. According to a 2020 New York Times piece, at the time of publication there were 575 live trademarks that included ‘zoom’ or ‘xoom’, leading the writer to ask, “why does every startup sound fast now?”
Some letters of the alphabet are visually and aurally attractive to naming experts. Q, Z, K, O and X, for example, add distinction to the sound of the name and design of a logo. To factor in the number of syllables also requires careful study, given that most brands can reach a global customer base that speaks over 7,000 languages.
It’s increasingly challenging to find the right name for a brand: one that not only works, but that’s also legally available