Naming Tip #7: Don’t be afraid to be edgy

By Mark Skoultchi

August 4, 2008

Don’t be afraid to be BOLD. Distinguish yourself from your competitors; don’t imitate them. You think everyone felt comfortable with the name Virgin? Of course not. But it stood out and had a great story to tell. A name’s edginess can play to its advantage by signaling a brand that’s different and game changing.

Embrace the dark side! No, seriously. Most juicy words have a lot of connotations – positive, negative, neutral – depending on the context. Just because a good name has a dark side, that isn’t a reason to kill it. Just be sure that there’s enough “good” left in the name. (Even Darth Vader had good qualities deep down inside!) As long as your name’s negative associations don’t completely overshadow its positive ones, the edginess will likely help you stand out and be remembered. And remember: most consumers aren’t spending their time at the store thinking of all the negative associations that come to mind with any given product name. Context can help steer their perceptions in the right direction.

This is part seven in a ten-part CatchThis series. Check back every Monday morning for subsequent naming tips. Check out previous Naming Tips here.

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