Creating a fictional brand

This morning in Virtual Writers Group, we did a writing prompt around shoes. This led to a discussion about creating brand names.

Often, writers want to use fictional brand names in their writing rather than real ones. This could be due to not wanting to worry about trademark/copyright in their stories, or because the product is fictional, so it needs to be a brand that doesn’t already exist.

Names for products and brands can be challenging to create. Here are a few of the tips I gave to the kids in the session:

  • Find an existing brand, and spell it backwards – this may or may not work, some of the suggestions we found were very funny
  • Combine the names of two or more brands – again, this can come up with some interesting results, Nikeadash anyone?
  • Misspell a brand name – this one could work well if your main character needs to confuse products. One participant had their main character buy shoes they thought were a well-known brand, but they turned out to be something quite different
  • Use a name generator – there are many name generators out there. My favourite is Fantasy Name Generators, though they don’t have a category for shoe brands!
  • Random words – pick a few random words that describe your item, and play with different combinations to come up with your brand name

Of course, you can come up with a brand name that is entirely of  your own creation, however the above ideas can help if you can’t think of anything.

Coming up with a fictional brand name is just as important as coming up with a real brand name for those who are running a business. There are many fictional brand names that we would recognise the source if someone mentioned them.

If you’re particularly stuck in your first draft, you can always type SOMETHING and come back and fill in the brand name later.

If you are using brand names in anything you publish, make sure you check for the relevant permissions.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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