What’s in a luxury brand name (Part 2)?

What’s in a luxury brand name (Part 2)?

Strategies for creating compelling luxury brand names

Frankly there are many. Everyone has a magic wand on Google. If only it were so simple. Especially in mature or developed markets like the drinks market.

Following on from part one of our blog on creating luxury brand names which you can read here, let’s explore some of those who have done it well:

Quick stories behind some famous brand names

  • Cadillac: Named after the founder of Detroit; a Frenchman called Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the names is intended to evoke a pioneering spirit
  • Lufthansa: Luft is German for air. Hansa comes from the Hanseatic League a confederation of merchant guilds that existed across C14th- C16th Northern Europe
  • Subaru: Means Unite in Japanese but also is a term for a collection of stars said by Greek mythology to be the daughter of Atlas, the titan of astronomy and navigation
  • Etsy: The founder watched foreign films for inspiration during which he misheard the Italian eh, si (‘oh yes’) as etsi
  • Reebok: South African antelope (grey rhebok)
  • Aldi: Surname of Karl & Theo Albrecht and Diskont, German for er.. discount
  • Tresemme: After hair care expert Edna Emmé. Supposed to sound like the French ‘très aimé’ meaning much-loved

And here are our 8 tips to create a good luxury brand name

  1. It should be unique / distinctive (for instance: Chanel, Mustang, Gucci, Prada)
  2. It can convey a product’s qualities and benefits, though not essential (Coach, Clinique, Savoir Beds, Red Bull, The Spectator)
  3. Founders names are perfectly acceptable if not de riguer (Ralph Lauren, Christian Louboutin)
  4. History is always good (Louis Vuitton, Veuve Cliquot, Boodles)
  5. Unlike other sectors, unpronounceability can be part of the charm and a positive asset (Krug, Hermès, TAG Heuer, A. Lange & Sohne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Ermenegildo Zegna, Vilebrequin)
  6. Partnerships work (Dolce & Gabbana, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolls Royce, Mungo & Maud)
  7. It should be able to convert into foreign languages
  8. It should be capable of legal protection and registration.

There is no right way, no magic formula

For successful luxury brand naming, we work with imagination, client respect, historical perspective, factory/company/place visits (old fashioned ‘Product Interrogation’), asking the right questions, zeitgeist understanding, sector empathy, luxury brand experience, philosophy, arts and cultural understanding


It only seems right to end this by saying Anew.

The name means doing it again, in a different, new, way from before.

If you’d like help creating a new luxury brand name for a product, brand or company – do get in touch.