How To Create A Name That Captures Your Magic

Struggling to name your brand? Follow these 3 important rules to create a name that stands out.

Sophia Sunwoo
3 min readOct 5, 2022

I went into The Sock Parlour the other day and left the store shocked that I just had my biggest shopping spree of the year there.

I wasn’t on the market for socks, so I ignored the store when I saw its name. But my partner happened to see something he liked in the window, so we walked in.

I’m not a big shopper when it comes to clothing and jewelry. I just don’t like most things enough to buy them (so I usually rent clothing instead). The Sock Parlour was a gem though, I couldn’t get enough of the clothing, jewelry, and home goods they sold.

What a shame it would have been if my partner didn’t want to walk in, and I let the store’s name fool me into thinking it was just a sock store.

Even as my partner and I left the store with 4 big bags, I muttered to myself, “I still can’t believe this place is called The Sock Parlour…” I just couldn’t get over how terrible the name was, and how much magic was hiding behind it.

Naming a brand is complicated with a lot of nuance. My experience with The Sock Parlour though, is a good example of a few basics you should remember when it comes to creating a name that captures your magic.

Delight > Literal

I think that good names capture the most delightful aspect of what you sell, not the literal aspects of what you sell.

Sure, when I walked into The Sock Parlour, socks represented the biggest volume of what they had to offer, however it wasn’t the most delightful aspect of their store.

The items in the store that made me squeal were their hip, yet cozy clothing and jewelry that had a California coolness to them. That was what I remembered the most after leaving that store — so much so that I left with some of that Cali cool with me.

I did not remember any of the socks. I could not tell you one sock color or design I saw with any sort of confidence — they were totally forgettable to me.

When picking a name, pick one that captures what delights your customers about your products. We often forget the things that we don’t care about, even if it’s littered throughout every square inch of a store.

Human names are hard to remember

How many new names do you remember when you meet people at a party? I usually remember 0.

I don’t love using human names as a brand’s name. It takes repetition before someone remembers the exact pairing of a first name with a specific last name.

First and last names are hard to recall after hearing it only once, and when there are millions of Franks around the world, there’s a needle-in-the-haystack chance that you’ll find their business on Instagram unless you remember their last name.

Human names also don’t emote any emotion or vibe right off the bat, they are blank slates that exude a feeling after you get to know the person/brand.

On the flip side though, human names create intimacy when used in the correct context — artisans, thought leaders, and coaches benefit from this. The lesson here in a nutshell — context is everything when using a human name as a brand.

Read the room

There’s so much that has changed about how consumers relate to brands. Millennials value social good and will express their beliefs via where they spend their money. Gen Z value realness and individuality and will show no mercy towards brands that are disingenuous.

Not to mention, the 15 second attention spans molded by our Instagram and TikTok algorithm gods, so much about us, down to how we digest branded content is different from where we were 10 years ago.

When naming your brand, don’t name it in a vacuum. Read the room as it currently stands, and everyone you want walking in it.

If your name is cheesy or outdated, you could stop the right people who are ready to shop from walking into your store.

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Sophia Sunwoo

I create moneymaking brands with womxn entrepreneurs who refuse to settle for mediocre. www.ascent-strategy.com