Insights from 19,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

How and When to Use Emotional Appeals in Business Names

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Aristotle outlined three principle persuasion techniques, Ethos (ethical appeals), Logos (logical appeals), and Pathos (emotional appeals). Because your business name is a means of persuading your potential customers to buy your product or service, you can utilize aristotelian rhetoric when naming your business. This article outlines the strength of emotion appeals when applied to business naming.

Emotional names are powerful tools. They grab the audience’s attention and immediately establish a connection. These names are bold, powerful statements

Using emotional appeals as a mode of persuasion can work to your advantage in the business world. As humans, emotions are how we connect with others. Our brand decisions are often driven by emotions, so emotional appeals in a business name can snag people’s attention when used correctly.

What are emotional names?

We are all familiar with emotional marketing tactics: gum commercials about growing up and leaving home, soda ads about love, and detergent ads about supportive families. However, a brand’s name can also be the basis of an emotional appeal.

Here are some examples of emotional brand names:

  • Triumph (Motorcycles)
  • Benefit (Cosmetics)
  • WorkJoy ( A Squadhelp name for Career Coaching)
  • Salesforce (Customer Success Platform)
  • Promise Hill (A Squadhelp name for a Charity)
  • Inner Peas (Snacks)
  • Riot (Music Festival)
  • Inspire Up (Student Initiative)

As you can see, a variety of industries apply emotional appeals to their business names. These names connect with a specific feeling or desire in order to build a presence in a potential customer’s mind.

How to use emotional names

First, consider what emotions you want your brand name to evoke. This is the most important aspect to consider. Do you want your audience to feel calm, happy, angry, sad, or afraid? Selecting these emotions carefully is important because it sets up how people react to your brand.

Emotional names work best for political and nonprofit organizations because they lead with strong feelings. Along with other name styles, they can be used for various purposes.

Climate change and environmental organizations such as Greenpeace employ emotional branding tactics in their name and campaigns, appealing to people’s desire for a peaceful planet. Another environmental group, Earth Liberation Front, has a much more aggressive and urgent name, which reflects their tactics.

Once you have chosen how you want your name to resonate with your audience, apply these emotions to your company naming strategy. Come up with a list of emotional words that might fit into your business, and then apply them to your names.

Emotional names take a bold stance. They are especially effective in non-profit work and political brands, but the same techniques can apply to any industry.

Consumer decision making is largely related to emotional triggers, and exploring emotional names opens up new possibilities for your business. Emotion can help you build a strong relationship with your audience and propel your brand forward.

About the author

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

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