Millennials are branding their babies

Jul 24, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Image: Blend Images – JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Young parents want their kids to stand out among their peers, and choosing an original and unusual name — a "brand" — is one way to make it happen.

Back in the old days, baby names were pretty predictable. It was a sure bet, for example, that John, William and James were going to be among the top five. Not so today. The most popular names of 2014, Noah and Emma, accounted for a mere 1 percent of baby boys and baby girls, respectively. Popular baby names change dramatically from year to year, and new names show up all the time.

More: Fantasy-inspired girls' names are rising fast

In a recent study of Millennials and branding, Goldman Sachs uncovered some nuggets that shed light on why parents choose the names they do. The reports looked at the history of baby names and deduced that there are two main reasons for the new naming trends: "greater diversity among parents and… an appetite for more differentiated and unique brands (which we believe names are)."

More: Unexpected top baby names from around the world

In other words, Millennial parents want to avoid the "big brands" (i.e., the most popular baby names) and instead create their own. Here's a look at some of the trending brands. Some of the names are brand new. Others are resurrected from long ago. Still others have simply switched genders.

More: Orange is the New Black baby names

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