A revolutionary naming strategy that could change brand naming forever

Fruiting League has devised a brand naming evaluation protocol that can secure the preconditions for success across multiple business dimensions. In their sound structure, names encode underlying ‘semantic cores’ – mother lodes of primary meaning – which together generate specific qualities in the organisations that bear them. These may be positive, obstructive, commercially or creatively strong; as nuanced as language itself, not limited to a narrow field of binary options. Here’s why.

All modern languages rest upon thousands of years of recorded thought and tens of thousands (at a minimum) of pre-literacy usage. Speech sounds are not wholly random, as correspondences across widely diverse languages quite often suggest. Yet language is never simply ‘representative.’ Even onomatopaeia – words like ‘howl’ or ‘rattle’ – are stylisations of actual sounds.

Brand naming with real insight

Fruiting League maintains that organisations’ names shape their fortunes, rather than merely identifying them. Every brand name’s construction and sound elements exert a subtle influence over business style and performance. When a brand underperforms it may be possible to restore earlier success or even better it through changes to the name rather than the disruption of a complete makeover, rebrand or strategic realignment.

Brand naming for high performance

In our professional practice we look at any name’s construction and elements as holding a key to the organisation’s short- and long-term performance. A recent rebrand of ours called Omda, previously CSAM a Norwegian hospital and emergency software company. Omda In Norwegian means ‘if then’. This foundational logic is a key aspect of computer programming, the basis of their products. However its phonemic analysis is extremely powerful for the following reasons.

A name representing universal life force

Starting with Om, if you ever do yoga your instructor may ask you to say ‘om.’ In many eastern religions ‘om’ means connecting or healing all life in the universe. In Latin, omni means everything around us or the holistic view; the word womb has an om (ie life force) within it and om in Arabic means mother. In Greek omphalos is the navel, symbolic of life’s origin and the transmission of vital energy through generations.

This ‘om’ sound refers to slightly different things but is present in many contexts where life in its universal aspects is the focus. For a company developing software for the healthcare sector the “om” in its name would generate very positive subliminal signals.

A name of great stature

As for ‘da’ this sound has positive connotations in many languages as the patriarch (the other source of life) and in mandarin chinese it means big, great in stature and strength. When the phonemic elements of a name have deep-rooted positive value in ancient and modern languages, and those meanings are relevant to the firm or organisation, then the name will be deeply attractive and value-oriented.

Omda billboard ad in Oslo regarding brand naming

Brand Naming with latent meanings

We do not look at words or word elements of surface relevance. In our view this is self-defeating. There is however an art to arriving at a brand name that converges semantically (via latent meanings) from numerous directions on the deepest concerns and motivation of our clients and their customers.

We expect the new name, Omda, will contribute substantially to our client’s performance over the medium and longer term. What we already know is that developing and launching the new brand was itself stimulating and positive for the entire company.

Also, as soon as the name was made public something remarkable occurred: potential acquiree firms began to call expressing interest in being brought into the Omda fold. After many years of strategic growth by acquisition this is an uplifting experience. We attribute it both to the relaunch publicity and the subtly memorable and attractive new name by which the company goes forward to build further on the firm foundation of its first twenty years.

Brand naming a David against Goliath

Another brand naming example developed using this approach is the UK electric delivery fleet manufacturer, originally called BD Auto, which we renamed BEDEO. ‘Be’ in Arabic means ‘with me’ and in Latin ‘Deo’ means ‘to God.’ Together these sounds develop a semantic synergy with the activity of transforming vehicles to harmonise with the natural world, ie God’s creation. It also carries an echo of David and Goliath.

Such submerged potency at the level of sound is inherently and subtly magnetic. There is also another way to read the name which is more prosaic and a bit jokey: Buy Electric, Drive Electric, zer0 emissions! Two years after the relaunch BEDEO were able to enter the French market, a notably insular environment for auto brands.

Bedeo in black - a brand naming example

Audi and Aldi

Two more illustrations of dynamic name semantics both familiar across the UK and EU. It shows phonemic-semantic resonance working to deliver business success in the strong performance of two very contrasting German brands, Audi and Aldi. These names are quite similar in sound. Di in latin means god.

Radi, a Hindi name, means concordance and satisfaction. If we think of satisfaction as a round, full belly than we see immediately that Radi resonates with radius, the defining measure of a circle, and with radix, the Latin for root. Names with this phonemic resonance project an omnipotence and magnetic reach that is almost godlike.

Audi logo on blackground and Aldi logo on light background - brand anming examples

Audi is a very successful luxury car maker. Audi owners are strong brand advocates. With a different market positioning, Aldi, a recent challenger to UK supermarkets, is driving shock waves through the sector. The name emanates boundless confidence and affinity with people. At a time when all big supermarkets (even M&S!) are closing stores Aldi, an outsider, is opening more. Yet it could easily have been rejected by UK shoppers. This is another example of how deep meaning buried in word-sounds (what we call ‘phonemic resonance’) can strengthen a brand’s business performance.

Can your brand resonate with success

All these examples are simplified for the sake of brevity. Fruiting League’s approach in brand naming is more nuanced, more accommodative and less cut and dried than a short article can convey. We invite any business anywhere with a genuine interest to contact us for a no-obligation top line summary of our insight into their total brand.

For a deeper look at our strategic approach see our article on Brand Growth Potential, an indexing technique that draws on phonemic resonance analysis to provide a holistic strategic evaluation and road map.

Written by

Paul Vinogradoff
Brand strategist, Brand naming specialist