What’s in a name?

A name of a brand is one of the brands elements. Other brand elements are logos, characters, slogans and jingles, packaging and signage.

The beginning
The Body Shop was established by the late Dame Anita Roddick in 1976 in Brighton, England. Dame Anita Roddick was inspired to open the shop when she visited a store called The Body Shop in Berkeley, California. The store was different then the ‘usual’ cosmetic shop, because the products consisted only natural ingredients. Back in England she decided to open her own store of cosmetics with the same ideology of the one she visited. She bought the name rights of The Body Shop in California, who changed their name into Body Time.

Types of brand names
The Body Shop has a descriptive brand name. The brand name describes the service of the company. In the shop you can buy things for your body. This is not rocket science. ☺ But there are different types of brand names and descriptive is just one of them. For example there are:
(Sur)names
The name contains a name most likely of the founder of the company such as Disney or Ford.

Bridge
Contains two names most likely chosen as a result of a merger or acquisition like DaimlerChrysler or ExxonMobil.

Arbitrary
Names that have nothing to do with the service of the company like Apple or Camel.

Brand Awareness and Associations
A brand name can influence the brand awareness on a positive or negative way. The influence is negative when a name is hard to pronounce, to difficult or to common to remember. It has to be unique but also be familiar so that the name already exist in the memory. So you can see the dilemmas here.

The Body Shop is simple name to remember and easy to pronounce. It is a distinctive brand name which make it easy for consumers to learn about the product information.

By the way, it is a smart thing to do some research to meanings of the brand name in different languages. For example KFCs slogan is ‘finger-licking good’ but when they translated the slogan in China it became ‘eat your fingers off’. An other funny example is Braniff International Airways translated a slogan into Spanish. What should have been ‘fly in leather’ became ‘fly naked’.

Though if a company has an name that people just can not pronounce that doesn’t mean that the company isn’t succesfull. Like these brands in the video:

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