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What's in a Name? Creating a Memorable First Impression.

Company name logos

I really have lost track of how often new clients (upon hearing my business name) have repeated “Jellybean Communications… where do I know that name from?”

I wish I'd kept count.


It still surprises me, but it’s not really all that odd. It’s rather formulaic and intentional, actually.

Why so unforgettable?

Well for starters, who doesn’t like jellybeans? I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t. Secondly, they are a natural metaphor: a sweet coating, tasty addition, something palatable.

But hang on, what the HECK do jellybeans have to do with writing anyway?

Nothing really.

My point exactly.

And hey, I am not alone in the random approach. Some of the best company or product names out there are obscure. Take IKEA for example. It’s a random collection of letters. It uses the first letters of founder Ingvar Kamprad's name and the first letters of the Swedish property and village where he grew up: Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.

Crazy, right? But 100 percent memorable. Sure, IKEA has a killer brand too. Yet, even the name on its own had credibility from day one, with its intriguing three-vowel configuration.

And that’s the key to marketing. Being memorable. And different. If you’re naming your company, products or services, make sure you take the time to select something unique.

And a few other things worth considering:

  • Allow for trademarking (always do a search)

  • Give it a twist or unpredictable nuance

  • Ensure it is representative of your brand personality

  • It should not be too long or complicated

  • Consider how the name could work visually, alongside a logo

  • Quirky is good

  • Leave the clichés to the other guys

Even the best companies or products in the world will fail to meet their sales potential if they don’t have a clever and memorable name.

And remember: it doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to stick. Like jellybeans to the roof of your mouth.

Christine Thompson is a Vancouver-based freelance advertising copywriter and owner of Jellybean Communications.


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