Why do famous brands choose the business names they do? Is there a recipe for choosing the perfect company name when you’re starting out? As it turns out, there really is. However, that recipe isn’t the same for every industry niche, every brand, and every time period. That’s because names go through trends, just like anything else. Does that mean you have to conform to the trend when choosing your business names in order to stay relevant? No. It means there’s a guideline out there that you can use to draw inspiration from. A few years ago, for example, there was a great surge in single word names. Examples of this include Apple and Amazon and also the famed designer clothing retailer, Gilt.
Who is Guilt?
Speaking of smart business names, Gilt is a great example. Gilt Groupe first launched their women’s wear in November 2007 and followed with their menswear in April 2008. The business has enjoyed mixed successes and losses but since coming into the hands of Rue La La in 2018, it has changed its focus to target value shoppers, and this has seemed to be more successful than the eclectic mixture of ventures they ran previously.
Gilt Groupe is a members only e-commerce store that sells high-end fashion items at massively discounted rates for a brief and limited time. Buyers can expect to save around 60% of designer wear. As a result, the site has been met with suspicion by many shoppers, however, the brand has managed to solidify itself as a trusted entity in the digital shopping sphere thanks to its cohesive branding. Typically, 70% of Gilt’s sale items are sold out within 90 minutes of being listed. They’ve also won some prestigious awards, including Webby Awards – Fashion & Beauty – People’s Choice Winner and Best User Experience – Honoree.
Business names: What makes “Gilt” work?
Gilt, as a word, has a few different meanings but one could surmise that the most fitting definition, in this case, might refer to the adjective: “gold in color; golden.” Gold denotes wealth, royalty, power, and beauty. This goes far back in humanity’s history, as is evident when we consider the Ancient Egyptians and other cultures that clad their royal leaders in gold.
Gilt as a business name: When you consider that Gilt Groupe entered the marketplace to appeal to image-conscious fashionistas, the business name choice makes sense, even if it is rather elusive and cryptic to the average shopper. They are appealing to shoppers who value a good bargain, you can imagine how a name that is so closely linked with “gold” might evoke the trust they’re hoping to inspire in their buyers. Gilt, and the meaning of it, helps to identify this brand as an elite seller as opposed to the cheap retailers that sell knock-off fashion products. It was imperative that the brand makes it clear that they’re the real deal in order to establish themselves. Their business name is one way to do this.
Gilt’s target audience and brand identity
Gilt has chosen a tricky target audience, but their business name successfully appeals to their chosen demographic. While they have satisfied a clearly defined need in the fashion industry – more affordable access to designer wear for the average shopper – the average shopper has become skeptical of anything that sounds too good to be true. Many of these shoppers have identified no-name brands that retail similar looking clothing items at a fraction of the cost. This significantly narrows down the target audience Gilt Groupe can approach as clients. It means they need to appeal to those who value prestige, appreciate name brands, and maintain a very particular image but on a minuscule budget. Their business name doesn’t focus on the “minuscule budget” aspect, choosing to highlight the glitzy side of the service.
Choosing business names? Take inspiration from Gilt
Gilt has selected a retail brand name that is short, succinct, and, even if you don’t know what the name means, it still evokes an image that hints of a designer lifestyle and trending look.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp–transforming the way names are developed by combining an affordable agency-level brainstorming process with the unmatched creativity of “the crowd.”