Swiffer, BlackBerry, Febreze, Dibs, Dasani– all these brands have one thing in common. They are products named by a small firm in Sausalito, California, called Lexicon Branding.
The firm, founded by David Placek, has invested heavily in an area of linguistics called “sound symbolism,” which tracks the associations evoked by specific letters, across languages and cultures. They found that ‘v’ conjured energy and aliveness– think Corvette and Viagra– while ‘b’ and ‘t’ recalled reliability– as with BlackRock; T-Mobile; and BlackBerry, which Lexicon named. Placek and company know how to name a product.