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Our international or domestic clients with larger brand-building budgets tend towards empty bucket names.  Our smaller, US-focused clients or larger clients with limited budgets tend towards the more full bucket style of name.  Which brand name style is best for you? You decide. Let’s first talk about empty bucket brand names:

  1. They have less inherent meaning, which gives you an opportunity to define exactly what they mean and then own that meaning in the marketplace (e.g., Mondera).
  2. They tend to be short and relatively easy to say spell (e.g. Lexus).
  3. They tend to be made up words rather than real English words (e.g., Neova) which often makes them easier to register as trademarks both in the U.S. and globally.

But, an empty bucket name’s biggest weakness is that they tend to require more of an initial investment, both in terms of time and money, to establish.  So, let’s describe a full bucket brand name:

  1. They tend to be either real English words or constructed from common roots that have a more explicit meaning (e.g. Symmetry, Carmax).
  2. They tend to convey more of a specific benefit or imply more of what they actually are (e.g., CholestOff, Endless Shrimp).
  3. They often fall into what TM attorneys call the suggestive or pseudo-descriptive class of names.  These names are more difficult to register as trademarks because they tend to incorporate words and roots already used in many other marks.

In general, we recommend going with a more empty bucket name that has some relevance to what it is you are naming.  This may be a subtle meaning (e.g., Puron for a new green replacement for Freon), a particular sound (e.g., FlixMix for a movie-related web site), or a relevant flow or “mouth feel” when the name is spoken (e.b., Cabrizi for a new line of shoes).

For more of our thoughts regarding what name is right for you, call us at 512-267-1814 or email Mike Carr, one of our founders, at

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