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Looking for a Brand Name That Will Stand Out? Try Finnish

American companies are increasingly mining the language for short, simple, and unique words. 

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When the founders of a U.S. Wi-Fi router startup were first considering how to brand their product, they toyed with the word “Portal.” But the drawbacks were apparent: A popular video game was already using that name. And the company might struggle to differentiate itself from similarly technical-sounding competitors Netgear Inc. and Linksys.

After considering more than 600 possibilities, the branding agency A Hundred Monkeys helped the San Francisco-based entrepreneurs settle on Eero. The Finnish name was an homage to the work of Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, who designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. And it was short, simple, and unique. “Particularly in the U.S., not a lot of words start with two Es,” says Eli Altman, creative director at A Hundred Monkeys. The trademark name Eero and the URL were both available, too. Four years later, in 2019, Inc. acquired the router maker, and it now sells a lineup of products under the name Eero.