Great ideas for brands come from the most unlikely places. In 1989 Pepsi took its name from the word dyspepsia, meaning indigestion. Meanwhile, Google found the inspiration for its brand in the mathematical term, googol. So why not take inspiration from people’s names? For a hundred years, dozens of companies have been doing just that.
Industries as diverse as food, fashion and automobiles have used first and last names to create iconic consumer brands. Coco Chanel and William Boeing began using their respective family names for commercial endeavors in the early 1900s. The trend continued in the 1950s and 1960s when the founders of Sara Lee and Wendy’s used their daughter’s name to brand their businesses.
But it didn’t end there. Using people’s names as brands continues today. Products and services as diverse as Craig’s List, Tom’s of Maine, Clif Bar, McAfee, Bose and Dell are all derived from their founder’s personal names. However, with the emergence of cyber commerce as the new standard for marketing a corresponding domain name has become crucial. That’s the reason we find the Victoria’s Secret brand at the corresponding website Victoria.com.
But these days even technology startups are using personal names for both their brand name and their website. And furthermore, female brand names are no longer limited to companies catering to female populations. For example, at Lynda.com you can develop your business skills with the help of instructional videos and online courses. Dolly.com hosts a startup aiming to become the Uber of apartment moving while Alice.com specializes in the sale of gourmet coffee. Amidst this surge of boundary breaking creativity for personal names we shouldn’t be surprised to find high tech bike racks at Cora.com and discount travel packages at Olivia.com. Other applications include Tracy.com which features high tech diamond rings, Lily.com for transportation logistics and Jasmine.com for telecommunications.
What these companies have discovered is that first names often make great brands and domain names. Why? Because they’re short and easy for consumers to remember and spell. So keep an open mind. The inspiration and insight for a brand and matching dot com can come from the most unlikely places. In your search for the perfect brand stay fluid, remain open to new ideas and remember that brands are people too.