3 Brand names that nailed it – and why

An illustration of a (in the foreground) statue of Ulysses/Odysseus, in the background, the Tigris River with palm trees, and above it, the sun peaking over the horizon. Over the horizon are a couple of floating cell phones.

One of my favorite subjects to nerd out on is branding. Without good branding, you aren't able to reach the people your product would serve best. Much like design, branding combines the poetry of art with the practical needs of a business, and when done well, becomes a highly compelling force.

Choosing a name for your brand is extremely important in the successful marketing of a product, and today I want to examine a handful of companies that just fucking nailed it, and why.

Tigris

Tigris is a globally distributed S3-compatible object storage service that provides low latency anywhere in the world, enabling developers to store and access any amount of data for a wide range of use cases.

This is a service I've recently started swapping for AWS S3, and I have to say: I love it. It's where I'm serving the images on this blog! But I promise this post isn't just an attempt to get more people to check out Tigris – I really do love the name, and here's why:

Drawing inspiration from the iconic Tigris River, a vital component of the historic Tigris-Euphrates River system that cradled the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of ancient Mesopotamian civilization, the name Tigris embodies the essence of reliability, connectivity, and progress. Just as the ancient Tigris River served as a lifeline for the birth of civilization, trade, and communication in Mesopotamia, Tigris, the object-storage service, serves as a digital conduit, enabling the global flow of information essential for modern-day web applications.

That, my friends, is a damn compelling name for a globally distributed object-storage solution.

Verizon

Verizon is an American wireless network operator and popular cell phone service provider.

I wish I could say that I figured out the genius in the name Verizon, but I did not. I learned about it through a fantastic book on marketing, called The Perfection of Marketing by James Connor, which I highly recommend. The beauty of the name Verizon is subtle, but quite possibly my favorite name. Let's start with the obvious bit: Verizon sounds like the word horizon, which echoes the promise of a broad network. But then there's the Ver- part; what's that about?

Well, turns out ver- is the Latin root for truth. Now before you start rolling your eyes at bringing etymology into my argument, because who the heck knows enough about etymology to connect the dots about Verizon's name, let me point out that English speakers will still understand this on a subconscious level due to our exposure to certain words, such as verify (to confirm the truth), verdict (the establishing of a truth), verily (in truth). Thus, the name Verizon implies "reliability as far as the eye can see."

::mic-drop::

Ulysses

The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad and iPhone: Powerful features and a pleasant, focused writing experience combined in one tool, made for people who love to write and write a lot — this is Ulysses.

TELL me if this isn't the most seductive name for an app targeted toward writers, particularly aspiring novelists. Let's talk about why.

Derived from the Latin rendition of the Greek hero Odysseus, the app Ulysses pays homage to the protagonist of Homer's timeless epic, The Odyssey. By invoking this name, the creators of Ulysses tap into the deep-seated desire within every writer to craft narratives as enduring and captivating as those found in literary masterpieces like The Odyssey.


I could go on and on about brand names that I think are just ::chef's kiss::, but I don't want to make this blog post too long, and it's a Saturday, and my my dog is giving me the stink eye because I haven't taken him out for a walk yet. But obviously there are LOADS more examples!

Leave a comment on the Twitter thread for this post (or you know, whatever site brought you here!) to share other brands that you think absolutely crushed the naming of their product or service.