Insights from 19,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

Tips for Using Abstract Adjective + Noun Naming Techniques for your Business

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When naming your business, there are a variety of name types you can use. Classic, abstract, emotional, and clever names are also styles you can work with.

Creative, engaging, and brief, abstract names provide almost limitless potential in our world of shrinking name availability. If you want a unique and memorable name that will serve as a strong foundation for your brand, you may consider this abstract naming type, which we like to call Adjective + Noun names.

Here is a list of Adjective + Noun names so you can get an idea of what we are talking about:

  • Royal Crown
  • American Eagle
  • Lonely Planet
  • Tame Impala
  • Yellow Tail
  • Firefox
  • Moody Rhino

Typically, an abstract name is one that has no obvious roots or connotations. However, even modern naming trends of Adjective + Noun formations can be considered abstract when the combination is not a reference to what the business is selling.

Take Squadhelp name “Bold Compass” for a web application development firm. The image of a compass is strong and energetic, but it has little to do with application development on a surface level. Rather, the name uses a memorable image to draw people into the brand. The image conjures direction, innovation, and destination, which is perfect for a company that wants to align itself with powerful possibility.

Blue Bottle Coffee is another good example of of an Adjective + Noun abstraction. This L.A.-based coffee company takes a striking image with alliterative power and applies it to coffee, which in this day and age has little to do with blue bottles. The name even has a great back story–it’s an homage to Central Europe’s very first coffee house.

An Adjective + Noun combination should be easy to say. They often use standard English words that can be recognized and understood cross-culturally. “Yellow” and “tail” are both simple words, neither of which have to do with wine. However, when combined to create the brand name Yellow Tail, these simple words take on a new meaning for the Australian wine producer, which sells to several countries. The simplicity of this name makes it easy to say and use.  

Adjective + Noun are also easy to remember. They often utilize poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance, and especially imagery. Blue Bottle Coffee uses alliteration through the repetition of B sounds, and it also applies the concrete image of a blue bottle to their coffee brand. The memorability of an Adjective + Noun name is particularly powerful when it conjures up a strong visual image. Image association has been proven to be a powerful memorability tactic as the visual of a familiar object will stick inside of your audience’s head.

For example, the name “Pure Fig” is simple, elegant, and understated, making it an ideal abstract Adjective + Noun name for a clothing line, cosmetics, or supplement brand.  

Not all Adjective + Noun name variants are abstract, however. The name Red Bull, thought it is an excellent brand name, is not considered abstract because both words imply power and energy, which closely aligns with the properties of an energy drink. The Adjective + Noun combination is not abstract if it directly describes what your business is selling, like Burt’s Bees or American Apparel. Rather, it is only abstract if it does not directly relate to the product or service of the company, like Yellow Tail wines.

Abstract names are powerful in their ability to capture the personality and tone of the brand without describing the product or service. They invite questions and investigation, drawing an audience who wants to learn more about what Firefox or American Eagle can offer.

Simple associations and memorable visuals can have a strong impact on the perception of your business. As such, when selecting an adjective and a noun for this type of abstract name, make sure to convey an appropriate emotion by carefully selecting your adjective and noun. They should sound good together and flow. That way, you’ll have a brand name that’s easy to say and hard to forget.

 

About the author

Meghan O'Toole
Insights from 19,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

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