International, National and Regional Name Styles

USBlastNational TV dominates the marketing messages of most countries of the world, especially in the US where so many megabrands of the world are created. A rich consumer society, extensive communications media empires, a boiling-pot of national heritages and a common major language dominate the USA. Yet there are still cultural and regional differences, tied not so much to population groups and heritages (though there is a fair bit of this), but rather to industries and the physical areas where they are based.

And all of these factors can have subtle effects on naming. Most people, by nature, are provincial. Even when they all come from different corners of the world, they tend to think and act locally as a group. This might show in their name choices, even if they use national/international naming agencies with diversely spread namers. At Brighter Naming we enjoy our jobs immensely when we discover these subtleties, even though we find that certain name styles always remind people of cars in the MidWest, for example. Those same names might play well as potential names for new technology companies, say, in some other part of the country.

Here is our provisional take on this subject. Of course, we would love to hear your opinions and suggestions for other regions too.

North America (Canada and USA):


San Francisco Bay Area

Area Codes: 415, 510, 707, 627, 925

The naming capital of the world. Home to the original naming companies, and still a major concentration region of them. Names like Pentium, Acura, Compaq, PowerBook all originated here. Also home to Landor Associates and other big branding agencies, many of whom are doing international work. This region is a complete melting pot of America ever since the gold rush days of 1849. Strong Asian and Hispanic influence too. Originally the tolerant “City of Love” during the hippie generations, the S.F. Bay Area continues to embrace all diversities. This is driven in part by their neighbors of Berkeley and Oakland across the Bay. Further north across the Golden Gate bridge is the premier Napa and Sonoma wine country, and we all know how brand-centric wineries are – however large or small their annual production!A strong biotech and financial center, with many other industries including tourism.





Sharper Image

The Gap



Wells Fargo



Silicon Valley

Area Codes: 408, 650, 831, 925, 669

San Jose claims to be the capital of this non-specific geographic region, but it also includes other important technology towns like Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Fremont, Milpitas, and San Mateo.Menlo Park is the Venture Capital Headquarters of the country, and along with Stanford University one of the major driving forces behind this ground-zero startup center of technology. Silicon Valley is home to H-P, Intel, AMD, Cisco, Apple, Oracle and many other technology heavyweights. Most new names are coined – many with a sharper techy flavor to them.

Intel, AMD


Cisco, Oracle

Adobe, Apple



Google, Yahoo

eBay, Pixar

Central Valley

Area Codes: 916, 559, 209, 369, 805

From Sacramento, to Fresno and Bakersfield, this lush valley is the largest agricultural valley in the world. And it needs migrant labor (almost all Hispanic) to succeed. So names from this region encompass many natural elements, often with a slight Latin overtone. Of course, it is mostly for fruits, vegetables, and other food or agricultural products.
Del Monte
Los Angeles & San Diego

Area Codes: 310, 818, 714, 858, 935, 909, 661, 626, 562, 323, 213

In the southern portion, which is mostly Orange County, names are very high tech, aerospace or real estate related.But in the north, the dominant factor is Hollywood and the related media empires. In San Diego there is a big pharmaceutical biotech industry.




San Diego

Area Codes: 442, 858, 935, 760,

A strong navy and Mexican influence dominates this town, though tourism is strong too.
Pacific NorthWest

Area Codes: 442, 360

The “gentle” states of Oregon and Washington are also home to many technology companies, as well as many forestry, fishing and related industries.Seattle is also knows as the “Coffee Capital” of the world and is a dominant center in this regard.



Arizona, Nevada, Utah

Area Codes: 480, 520, 602, 623, 702, 801, 775

While there is a significant mining industry in Nevada, today names are all very gambling centric – except those casinos that aspire to be somewhere else!
Caeser’s World

Area Codes: 442, 970, 720, 303

Denver, Colorado Springs and Aspen portray 3 different life styles, but all with a distinctive rocky mountain flavor.
The SouthWest

Area Codes: 442, 214, 281, 469, 512, 682, 623, 602, 713, 832, 903

Arizona, Texas and New Mexico – in short, cowboy and cactus country. Even when they are oil drilling wildcatters. But there is a lot of telecom and other high tech industries, especially in Austin and Dallas. Houston was home to Compaq but now they are part of HP.

Taco Bell,



New York

Area Codes: 201, 212, 315, 518, 609, 646, 718, 845, 917, 973

The big agencies in New York influence names across the whole country. Also, the fashion and news capital of the country.
New England

Area Codes: 442, 978

Not completely dominated by New York, the area around Boston and beyond is the second biggest software hub in the country. Area attracts a lot of VC startups.
Staples, Timberland
Boston Scientific, Thermo Fisher

South East

Area Codes: 404, 442, 912, 305, 252

Now a strong powerhouse by itself, stretching all the way from Georgia to the tip of Florida. From good ol boy USA to big time Latino companies and effect. Major neutraceutical companies based here and a base for serving all of Central and South America.
Coca Cola, CNN, Fedex
Home Depot, UPS, Delta Airlines

Research Triangle Park

Area Codes: 336, 828

The South East’s version of Silicon Valley. Lots of high tech companies, as well as basic materials such as those from wood and plastics.
Bank of America, American Airlines, DuPont, Lenovo, SAS Institute

The Midwest

Area Codes: 336, 828

Everything within one day’s drive of Chicago where the packaged goods industry as well as the automobile industry are dominant
Sears, Proctor & Gamble, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Boeing, John Deere, Caterpillar


EuroBlastHas the European Union driven one common identity for names and brands? Or will it do so in the future? Perhaps, but that is surely a long way off. In the meantime, the dominant economic powers tend to dominate the brands – though it is not exclusively so by any means. Here are some of the major brands of Europe.

United Kingdom

London, Birmingham, Leeds, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester Harrod’s, Land Rover, Jaguar, BP, Vodaphone


Paris, Nice, Lyons Cartier, Peugeot, Renault, Luis Vuitton, Yves St. Laurent, Moën, Oleg Cassini, Orange Telecom, Rosignol


Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg Adidas, BMW, Aldi, SAP, Mercedes, Heineken, VW, Porsche, Audi, Siemens


Madrid, Barcelona, Seville Zara, Paulo Negro, Paco Rabanne,


Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark Volvo, Nokia, IKEA, SAAB


Rome, Milan,Venice, Naples
Prada, Swatch, Bulova, Gucci, Armani, Fiat, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lambretta

The Netherlands

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague Shell, Philips, Heineken, Amstel, Unilever, Océ


Geneva, Zurich, Berne
Prada, Swatch, Bulova, Nestle, ABN AMRO

City Nicknames
Denver is the Mile High City, Chicago is the Windy City, San Francisco is the City by the Bay, Boston is Beantown,
New York is the Big Apple. Detroit is MotorTown. Portland is the City of Roses (and not Pasadena),
New Orleans is the Big Easy. Paris is the City of Lights, Seattle is The Emerald City, Hollywood is Tinsel Town.

See how Silicon Valley Got its Name.

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