Over the past few years, a crowd of new companies has emerged across tech, finance and health—all sporting a first-name brand. “Oscar,” “Alfred,” “Lola” —they have the look and feel of a friend, a colleague, maybe even your cat. And that’s the point: Make a connection with consumers that even Dale Carnegie would appreciate.
The strategy seems to be working. Research shows that the more simple and human-sounding the name, the greater the company’s success. Brands with short, easy to pronounce names were viewed more positively by investors, a 2012 study published in the Journal of Financial Economics found. By reducing name length by just one word, companies can see a boost of 2.53 percent to their book-to-market ratio—a formula used to find the market value of a company—or $3.75 million for a medium-size firm, according to the study.