Founder of Lexicon Branding Shares How They Named Such Iconic Products as Swiffer, Fios and BlackBerry

Meghan McDonough of Quartz contacted David Placek, founder of the legendary Lexicon Branding in Sausalito, California, to speak about how the company came up with such highly effective and memorable names for now iconic products. These brands include Swiffer, BlackBerry, Impossible Foods, Dasani, Febreze, Fios, Pentium and Sonos, just to name a few.

Placek explained that a great deal of research went into learning what letter sounds were most appealing to consumers and found that some stood out amongst the others.

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.