Naming is hard—and if you don’t know how to evaluate a name, it can also be extremely subjective. That’s how global sports marketers can end up with product names like Arakys, Rarig, Alligare and Repko. (See “Why Your North Face Jacket is Called a ‘Ceptor'”)

We know from scientific research what kind of information the brain is more likely to notice and remember. The above names fail to meet the most important criteria: instant meaning. If someone doesn’t know what a word means, none of the other important aspects of a name—emotional trigger, visual concrete image, approachability, connection to brand promise/differentiator, personality traits, etc.—can apply.

Compare those names to Stumpjumper—a mountain bike mentioned in this same story. Because you understand the word, the name is packed with connections: It’s energetic. Athletic. Daring. It alludes to mountain terrain. It speaks to high performance. It has a great sound, and even though it’s a little long, it still looks visually interesting because of the repeating “ump” letter pattern.

Some names are just better than others. It doesn’t have to be a mystery why. 

If you’ve got a naming project coming up, please contact Pollywog. We’d love to help you create the best name possible.