WHAT’S IN A BRAND NAME ?

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Over the course of last year, we have brought many Indian designers and labels to you – giving you insights into their products, design philosophy and even their eccentricities. When I was going through the database, I realized how different brand names can be. That started a whole chain of motion, and led to this very special post – Whats in a (brand) name ?!

So we started sorting through the names. Many were the designers’ own names (does that qualify as your parents naming your brand?). Then there were some that did not make heads or tails  (We’re too nice to name those!) And then some just stood out for all the right reasons. They were fun and crazy and perfectly suited to the products they offered. So we decided to speak to the brains behind some of our favorite names and get some insights as to how they decided their brand names and special tips for people thinking about starting their own labels.

The Brands are not in the order of any ranking, just alphabetic !

 

 

Bhane

WHAT’S THE NAME : Bhane.

WHAT THEY DO : Apparel Online Store

WHAT THEY SAY :  Bhane. (pronounced bha-ney) is meant to be a word that people can infuse with their own meaning. Like our clothing! Origins-wise, our founder had read it in a Sikh text and liked the word, and it ended up sticking. It’s a Gurmukhi word that means ‘Rising Sun.’ But we like it as a name that people can take and interpret in their own ways. And similarly our clothes are wearable basics that people can take and a customize with their own personal style in lots of different ways! We’re all about personal interpretation.

OUR TAKE : The first time I read the name, I read it as Bahane (which is Hindi for excuses). The next time I read it as Bhane (which is Hindi for something that had become dear to to). So its definitely a word left to personal interpretation ! However, the name stayed with me from the very first time that I read it, which solves the purpose of having a good brand name. The minimalist font, colors & styling are effective and seems completely in tandem with their clothing. I like how the one word stays with you – short & sweet.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their website.

 

 

Chumbak

WHAT’S THE NAME : Chumbak

WHAT THEY DO : Lifestyle Products inspired by India.

WHAT THEY SAY :  So Shubhra and I were sitting around trying to figure out what to name the company. This was back in 2009 and we tried all kinds of random names and we kept rejecting them. Finally, I asked her what the word ‘Magnet’ was in Hindi and she said Chumbak  And within 20 mins, we were online and had chumbak.com registered  It was a no-brainer. Eventually after many months, we stumbled upon the etymology of the word Chumbak. Chumbak is broken into 2 words. Chumma which we all know, means kiss and Bak means stones. So Kissing Stones = Magnets  How awesome was that !!

WHY CHUMBAK : The initial idea was to do only Fridge Magnets and that’s the first category we got known for and today even though a lot of people who know Chumbak don’t know it means Magnets. So even today, we have the largest range of magnets and that category is still so dear to us. But eventually, Chumbak means a lot more than its literal meaning

ADVICE FOR NEW BRANDS :

1. Check if the domain name is available + FB + Twitter and so on. It’s really important to get these when you’re building a brand. It’s silly to name it RoseOriginal or RoseIndia or RoseNew.

2. It should be Easy to pronounce and should be short & simple.

OUR TAKE : Chumbak is one of those Hindi words that you’ve learnt in school, so as a Brand Name it’s definitely catchy as you’ve heard of it before. The short take works really well because its so crisp. And with a complete product range inspired by India, its perfect to use a kitschy Hindi word for the brand. The number of fans they’ve acquired over such a short period of time will definitely testify to the magnetic pull of this label !

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their website.

 

 

Darzi-Ki-Marzi

WHAT’S THE NAME : Darzi Ki Marzi

WHAT THEY DO : Indian Ethnic-wear

WHAT THEY SAY :  Over fabrics, gotas, BBM and chai fuelled brainstorming sessions, both of us sisters came up with the name ‘Darzi ki Marzi’. We wanted our brand name to stand out, to be quirky yet old school. Our design sensibility reflects the same. The sarees and dupattas we create are colorful, playful and decadent, giving our version of a modern and fresh twist to classic Indian-wear.

ADVICE FOR NEW BRANDS : Any new brand in today’s competitive environment needs to have a name with great recall value, something that connects both the owner and client or customer. An interesting name with a little hint of the products the brand deals in, will definitely garner more attention and traffic on Social Media as well.

OUR TAKE : ‘Darzi’ (Hindi) refers to the good old Indian tailor who sits in his tiny khokha, churning away on his sewing machine. “Marzi” (Hindi) is doing as one pleases, which is exactly what every single tailor does ! The cheeky rhyme sits perfectly for the Indian clothing range they present. The moment I read it, I was immediately reminded of the numerous trips to my tailor – all the pleading and frowning, all the misfits and surprises (his interpretations of my design). This name I can definitely identify with !

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their facebook page.

 

 

Desi-Drama-Queen

WHAT’S THE NAME : Desi Drama Queen

WHAT THEY DO : Bags & Accessories Label

WHAT THEY SAY :  The brand name ‘Desi Drama Queen’ defines the mood of our target clientele. We kept in mind the international styling & exaggerated look of our bags for the Indian market. The word ‘Desi‘ relates to the youth and the ‘Drama Queen’ defines the look for our buyers who look for something stylish and different.

Desi drama queen defines all the drama-prone girls, who treat everyday as a new day to dress up. She will never be under-dressed. She will flaunt, sensationalize, and leave a little sparkle wherever she goes. She is a Show-off. She is real. Our name was kept based on these factors, perfect for the DDQ products they flaunt.

ADVICE FOR NEW BRANDS : A brand name should be able to have an impact on your target audience (the youth in my case) and they should be able to relate to your name.

OUR TAKE : The name would be very appealing to any girl between the age of 16 to 28, which is who their target audience is – so that makes the brand name bang on target. Adding an Indian (desi) touch to a western phrase gives it a stronger cultural identity and sense of belonging as well as give a clearer picture of what kind of products you should expect. Considering how often girls of this age are described as Drama queens, this name would definitely stay with you.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their Facebook page.

 

 

Dirty-Laundry

WHAT’S THE NAME : Dirty Laundry

WHAT THEY DO : Boxers & Apparel

WHAT THEY SAY :  For us, Dirty Laundry was a name which just fit in right with our thoughts. In retrospect, everyone has had dirty laundry  since the time of Adam and Eve. Forbidden fruit is most enticing.  There’s nothing wrong or right about it. Dirty laundry is what makes you open your closet and share things which we hold closest: humor, sex , alcohol with our zing added to it specially for you !

OUR TAKE : I first ran into Dirty Laundry products on an online shopping site. The whole range of boxers was so crazy and never-seen in the Indian design market, it caught my eye in a glance. Then I read the brand name, and I smiled. I could immediately recall the Dirty Linen phrasing, and how apt was it to see it for a brand selling inner-wear. Over all, the whole wordplay works very well for their products.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their Facebook page.

 

 

Doodlage

WHAT’S THE NAME : Doodlage

WHAT THEY DO : Recycled & Upcycled Clothing

WHAT THEY SAY :  Doodlage’ for us comes from the word doodles, which defines every piece at Doodlage. Every product is a unique combination, narrating a unique story. Doodles mean different things to different people and they are never exactly the same, that is how we relate to each garment here. We name all our garments internally and support various social causes around them. We expect our consumer to personalize each product to better suit their style. each garment is a different fabric, thread, feel and inspiration made for a different consumer.

OUR TAKE : Doodlage was one of the first brands we had blogged here about. The recycled approach made them unique in a very blingy market, from their very name we sensed it’s story. And that’s a huge plus point for any brand. The word ‘Doodle’ very clearly expresses a casual scribble, maybe your   brainstorming at the beginning of your journey. Doodles are meant to inspire artistic minds and the products also showcase this mix-and-match approach.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their Facebook page.

 

 

Item-Number

WHAT’S THE NAME : Item Number

WHAT THEY DO : Kitsch Lifestyle Products

WHAT THEY SAY : This is a story we love to share. When thinking of a name, we listed the one’s we thought were catchy and capable of grabbing attention instantly, at the same time was easy to register and had a 100 percent recall value. So we’re discussing, arguing, debating while at work, when Arif made an Andy Warhol-isque design of Bollywood’s cabaret queen Helen. Impressed with the design and being a fan of Helen, I (Inderjit) said, “Wow, there’s no item girl in Bollywood like Helen.” After that the next words to come out very loudly from my lips were ‘Item Number’. We loved it and so the brand got its name.

WHY ITEM NUMBER : The metaphor is simple; just like an over-the-top ‘item song’ instantly uplifts a boring Bollywood flick, our fashion & lifestyle brand Item Number too spices up, glamorises and boosts the style quotient of your wardrobe, house or workspace. The range of products is chic, irresistible and inimitable and is ideal for anyone who wants to break away from ‘same-old-pretty-cutesy-safe’ stuff and step into a vibrant world of fearless colors, intriguing patterns and unabashed ‘desi-pann’.

OUR TAKE : For a phrase used so very frequently these days, Item Number seems to have pulled off a feat – their name is probably featured in every day’s newspapers for some actress of the other ! The name stays with you for this very reason. Item Number is one of those fun, kitschy and outlandish names that can roll of your tongue so easily. The products target a young urban clientele and with such a name, they will definitely command more attention than usual.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their Facebook page.

 

 

Quirk-Box

WHAT’S THE NAME : Quirk Box

WHAT THEY DO : Fashion & Lifestyle Label

WHAT THEY SAY :  Quirk Box, is a fresh fun and yummy Fashion and Lifestyle label. There is an oddity, a sense of innovation and creativity that is a virtue of Quirk Box; This implicit need to create unique prints developed in house for our collection is what we (The founding partners) like to call the ‘Quirk Box’.”

ADVICE FOR NEW BRANDS : Focus should always be on creating a name which justifies the concept of the brand and supports your product line.

OUR TAKE : Though I’ve spotted many a brands who copied their ‘Box’ word since they started, the ‘Quirk’ stays with them. And that’s the word that hooks you. Quirk Box doesn’t hit you as a brand name in the first go, but it is definitely brilliant with growing on you. As a blog-writer I can also attest to the fact that now whenever I have to describe a fun-loving new label, I end up typing the word Quirky (its so apt!) and then subsequently erasing it -because now I feel the word truly belong to Quirk Box. That’s the true power of a name – completely taking over the word’s real meaning.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their website.

 

 

Shor-Sharaba

WHAT’S THE NAME : Shor Sharaba

WHAT THEY DO : Pop Art & Kitsch Products

WHAT THEY SAY :  Shor Sharaba was christened by the mother of the Noisemaker and Free Spirit – 2 sisters  committed to fun, quirk, colour and the movies! Our phaaantastic products make heads turn and people go Oooh, Aaah, Wow! Chak De Phatte Oye!

OUR TAKE : The brains-at-work are so crazy here, that I doubt I could get a more proper/serious reply from them ! Haha ! And that I guess is the perfect tribute to their brand name. ‘Shor Sharaba’ is a typically Indian word for lots of noise, pomp and celebration. What works well for this name is the immediate reaction of any child who has grown up in a Punjabi household, where there’s always a ruckus or two to take care of. They seem to have absorbed the name into their philosophy, work style and products. So you’ll find everything filmy, kitschy and colorful in their product range. It seems to be a match made in heaven.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their website.

 

 

Tungs10

WHAT’S THE NAME : Tungs10

WHAT THEY DO : Apparel & Lifestyle Products

WHAT THEY SAY : The name came from the word TUNGSTEN (TUNGS10). The brain-storming was done over a lot of names which implied bright, vivid and colorful. But then we came down a word, which was a source of light itself. The light gave us a chance to look at the colors we wanted to portray and thus we finalized on the same. The Brand name expresses the source of colors and fusion to brighten the world.

ADVICE FOR NEW BRANDS : Upcoming brands should always keep in mind the significance of the name with their product line. It should always depict the the right picture about the brand image to its final customer. The logo and text would be played around accordingly.

OUR TAKE : Mixing up alphabets & numerals makes Tungs10 unique at the first glance itself because its so different from the rest. The product range focuses on amalgamating Indian & western inspirations, and that works well with the name being a mixed term too. As a metal name, Tungsten is pretty familiar to everyone (as much as I detested those Chemistry classes) and seeing the name with a ’10’ twist makes it quite interesting. I might not have remembered the name as well as I do just because of this simple numeric tweaking. Show you that even minute details can make a big difference in the impact of your brand name.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their Website.

 

 

UDD-3

WHAT’S THE NAME : UDD

WHAT THEY DO : Indian-Boho Textiles & Apparel

WHAT THEY SAY :  UDD was a name that came very naturally to both of us (Yuti & Atul ). UDD literally means to fly in Hindi but it denotes Freedom (the nature, the sky, no boundaries). The logo & the name symbolize free spirited birds. Our brand believes in bold but simplistic clothing. It believes in reviving old traditional folk art and attire (sarees) and making it relevant for the youth today. UDD is about being yourself and confident . So the name conveys that feeling – a feeling of womanhood, happiness , freedom and confidence.

ADVICE FOR NEW BRANDS : The main thing to keep in mind is the Essence of your Brand. For UDD, it was being a confident and a free-spirited strong woman.

OUR TAKE : When I started writing this blog last year, one of best friends pointed me in UDD’s direction (via facebook). She was hooked to their art & craft and asked me to feature them. I went through the albums and kept falling in love – being a textile design graduate myself I knew the creativity and effort involved was mammoth. But I wasn’t sure what the acronym of U.D.D. stood for. Then I got struck by lightening. Stupid me, its not an short form for anything – ‘Udd‘ is the Hindi word for flying & soaring beyond boundaries. And suddenly it seems so appropriate. Its a short, simple word of Hindi, so common and so everyday – and yet so entirely perfect for a label reviving Indian folk art. It really shows you how you can find your brand name in the most regular of conversations… a simple word but still sums up the whole design philosophy at UDD.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their website.

 

 

Unees-Bees

WHAT’S THE NAME : Unees Bees

WHAT THEY DO : Concept Clothing Store

WHAT THEY SAY : Since our main focus was designing sarees using traditional techniques like block printing, which looked fun and contemporary, we wanted a name which was not-so-serious, unique and had a Desi element to it. One thing which I was sure of was that I did not want a fancy difficult-to-pronounce name. It should be simple and relate-able.

I don’t quiet remember how I came up with it; well there was nothing to come up with, the words “Unees Bees” have been used to describe a minor difference in color among other things, and we all know what it means (If you don’t, ask your mother!). But it just struck a cord. For one thing it is a common designing lingo relating to color, which is abundant in our designs. It is desi just as we wanted and it reminds us that it is okay to not be perfect, and that you must have fun with what you wear.

ADVICE FOR NEW BRANDS :  I would only have one advice – Let your name reflect your design, don’t just pick a name because it is fancy and makes you sound cool !

OUR TAKE : Unees Bees is a word I must have heard a million times or more. Its basic Hindi slang for not-entirely-perfect. Unees is 19 (Hindi) and Bees is 20 (Hindi) so to break it down to bits, it means something that matches to about 19 on a scale to 20. You get to hear this phrase so often from people around you in the design industry – like Ankita said above in reference to dyeing colors. And that’s what makes the name so memorable. It brought a smile to my face the first time I spotted this label – just the right amount of teasing in this word to leave an impact. You almost want to shop here just because the name is so bang-on. The collection is meant for a younger audience and I think the name works like magic on them because of its high recall value.

HOOKED TO THE STORY ? Check out their Website.

 

 

So yes, that’s 12 of our favorite Indian brand names ! We had lots of fun talking to all the Indian labels, and there are some more that we adore (greedy us!) but hopefully we solved the main purpose behind this post – to help all the young, bright minds going bonkers over finding their perfect brand names. We can part with just one last piece of advice – Please don’t keep a brand name you end up hating after 2 years ! A Brand name is something that becomes as permanent as a tattoo – the moment you start rolling, people will associate you with this name. A name-revamp is not ideal, so think this part through. After all, these are not your school email addresses that you now refuse to acknowledge !

Now you know what’s in a name !

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