You can’t have a branding/naming expert on a Korean variety show and not ask this question: which are the best and worst idol group names? We can definitely all think of a couple that we think are questionable.
On the July 30 episode of MBC’s “My Little Television,” Korean naming expert Park Jae Hyun explained which idol group names are good examples to follow, and which are not.
For the best group names, Park Jae Hyun picked TWICE and EXO. He said, “The pronunciation has punch, and it’s fun to hear. Moreover, “twice” isn’t necessarily a word that we know, nor is it a word that we don’t know. These kinds of things pique people’s curiosity.” Talking about EXO, the expert said, “The word ‘EXO’ has brand power in the ease of pronunciation.”
On the other hand, according to Park Jae Hyun, group names like A.O.A and I.O.I are not as effective, because while they may have meaning, they lack association.
Girls’ Generation was also put under the microscope. Park Jae Hyun said, “I don’t know what their intention was at the time, but instead of picking a name that gives people the feeling of anticipation, they picked a name that’s too straightforward.”
gugudan gives a young vibe, which is okay for the group’s target audience, said Park Jae Hyun, especially because the name elicits curiosity. Meanwhile, C.I.V.A is an example of what not to do: “As someone who works in education, I wish names like this wouldn’t be made,” said Park Jae Hyun.
Giving advice for what kind of names he’d like to see, Park Jae Hyun mentioned BTS: “I want people to use words that aren’t commonly used every day. There’s a group called BTS. The word “bangtan” (bulletproof) is honestly not something we say a lot.” Park Jae Hyun then praised the use of the uncommon word in conjunction with a double meaning.
You can watch the latest episode of the show here: