• Expert Tips

Names of Buildings:
Advertising Through an Immaterial Foundation Stone

  • Expert Tips

Names of build­ings are popu­lar. They range from house numbers to hip creations like “Kiez und Gloria”. They promote market­ing and the users’ iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with the build­ing. But not every name is a good match with every build­ing. Some­times, those respon­si­ble have a hard time find­ing a suit­able name at all. In today’s Valdivia Expert Tip, we give you a help­ing hand and an overview of how build­ings are being named today – with some prac­ti­cal sugges­tions on how to find an appro­pri­ate and marketable term for your next property.

The Name as a Market­ing Tool

Names have some­thing magi­cal about them. They create person­al­i­ty, char­ac­ter and a place in our memo­ry. This is just as true of build­ings as it is of people. For this reason, build­ing names that only consist of a combi­na­tion of char­ac­ters are not advis­able. “K37” — for the address Klein­dor­fer Straße 37 — will never create the sane effect as “Linden­hof”.

This is not only due to the sound and the figu­ra­tive­ness. A well-chosen name is more than the word that can be read at the main entrance and in the exposé. It can shape – and facil­i­tate – all commu­ni­ca­tion, right down to the choice of font and colours. Such a name is also a good start­ing point for substan­tial story-telling, e.g. on the histo­ry of the loca­tion, and can even inspire design elements in archi­tec­ture and inte­ri­or design. Espe­cial­ly in larg­er cities, it has become an impor­tant means of differ­en­ti­a­tion – and thus a pric­ing argument.

Find­ing Names That Work

An impor­tant factor in the search for a name is, of course, the type of use: for exam­ple, office and other commer­cial build­ings have — among other purpose — a repre­sen­ta­tive purpos­es. The name should take this into account. For exam­ple, sylla­bles and word stems of Latin or ancient Greek origins, such as “Triagon”, are well-suit­ed. English elements can also fit, espe­cial­ly for prop­er­ties in city centres with an inter­na­tion­al target audi­ence. In a second step, howev­er, you should check your favourites care­ful­ly — not only in terms of trade­mark law:

  • -Is the mean­ing the intend­ed mean­ing? A “Triagon”, for exam­ple, should show a trian­gu­lar floor plan or at least stand on a trian­gu­lar property.
  • Please do not be too osten­ta­tious! A “campus” brings to mind a group of build­ings like at a univer­si­ty, not a small­er indi­vid­ual building.
  • Above all, you should check arti­fi­cial names with regard to their pronounce­abil­i­ty and effect in common foreign languages. A tongue twister is just as unsuit­able as a name that sounds like a swear word in French, Span­ish, or Turkish.


Strong Ideas Inspired by the Location

Often, and espe­cial­ly in the case of resi­den­tial build­ings, the site histo­ry is a good source of inspi­ra­tion. Even with­out concrete refer­ence, names like “Linden­hof” or “Ried­bachkar­rée” provide a friend­ly market­ing basis. Howev­er, this approach has a much stronger effect if you derive a real refer­ence from old land regis­ter entries or cadas­tral docu­ments. Histo­ry offers even more possi­bil­i­ties: Maybe, for instance, region­al­ly known artist or scien­tist used to live in or made visits to the neigh­bour­hood? If the naming rights have expired or can be clar­i­fied, a naming in the form of Dürer-Schanze or Hilde­gard-Park pays trib­ute to the person and will thus also be a topic for munic­i­pal PR.

In any case, the same applies to prop­er­ty names as to every­thing else in market­ing: above all, they should be unique, short and easy to pronounce — and they should fit the prop­er­ty and the target group. You might get some initial ideas from www.name-generator.org.uk/house — in English and perhaps not meant entire­ly seri­ous­ly. When in doubt, you can also contact commu­ni­ca­tion agen­cies or consul­tants who have expe­ri­ence in find­ing suit­able names.