How Creative Suffixes Help Brands Get Attention

In past blogs, we’ve written about trends that occur over the years for brand names. Some of these include the .com naming trend, blended names, and even numbers in names. Though some trends have slowed down or have all but disappeared, new trends are always appearing as times change.

One particularly interesting trend is the use of creative suffixes. Using a suffix allows the name to become a different part of speech and therefore evoke a particular vibe from customers. The use of suffixes has a history dating back over 100 years. There was a trend to use suffixes such as “-oid,” “-ite,” and “-ine.” We saw them with Polaroid, Marmite, and Listerine. These noun suffixes tend to be for products and things whereas verbal suffixes tend to be for services. Rather recently, we have seen an influx in brands using suffixes to produce action words through verbs and adverbs.

For instance, a brand can create an adverb by adding -ly to a noun or adjective. Or, they can produce a verb with the –ize or –ify suffix. With this addition, the brand names instantly acquire a dynamism that the noun (e.g. spot, ad, business), without the suffix, would be non-existent. Of course, there are two types of suffixes that can be used. The first is a brand name suffix and the other, and the more recent, is a URL suffix. With the use of a top-level domain (TLD), brands entered the 21st century by bringing their brand online. In some cases, it was nearly exclusively online.

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The use of .ly has become more and more popular in the last few years. Although it’s the domain for Libya, brands worldwide have caught onto the adverb-creating suffix. Examples include bit.ly, clever.ly, and grammar.ly. Using this suffix, the adjectives and nouns become adverbs instantly.

Reach.ly has chance to thank for their brand name. Ernests Stals explains to The Next Web writer Abhimanyu Ghoshal that their original choice was “reach.it,” using the Italian domain suffix.

Because this was taken, their domain naming service recommended Reach.ly. They took it as it “sounded just as good and easy to remember.” Regardless, both the .it and .ly give “reach” the suffix it needs to become more than a simple verb.

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Starting with the widely popular Spotify in 2008, Crunchbase, an innovative company directory platform, had 338 brands registered that used “ify” or a variation as of 2014. On this list are Bizify, an online business directory; Healthify, healthcare software; and Distractify, a leading source of entertainment news.

The “-ify” suffix is used in English to transform a noun or adjective into a verb. It occurs in words such as clarify, solidify, falsify, and glorify. Some brands have used the suffix on a name that is already a verb (Boostify, an in-app marketing tool, for example). Using the verb suffix in this way, particularly on a dynamic word like boost gives the brand a kind of grammatical double dynamism.

Grammatical brand names have been a part of the brand landscape for a number of years, but there are always new avenues to be discovered. And the option to create a distinctive, trademark compatible name that also has good URL options makes this a useful option for any brand naming agency.

If you’re in need of a new brand or product name, drop us a line or visit us on our social media pages. The experts at Appella can discern the trendy from the smart to give your brand the longevity it needs.

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