Branding, Inspire, Strategic Marketing

How-To Guide for Discovering the Perfect Name for Your Product

So, you’ve created a new product you’re excited to share with the world. Now what?

Well, you need to give it a name.

Beginning the product naming process can feel a little overwhelming, especially when you have so much (financially and emotionally) riding on the success of your product.

What if you choose a bad product name? What if it causes your product to fail? What if it ruins your brand’s reputation? What if this happens? What if that happens?

Instead of stressing yourself out by playing the what-if game, channel all that energy into following a product naming strategy that ensures you discover the best name for your product.

The Product Naming Strategy
Before you start jotting down product names that randomly pop into your head, there are a few questions you need to answer.

  • Who is your product for and what do they want from your product?
  • What makes your product different from other products; AKA the unique selling point?
  • How does your product connect with your brand?
  • What kind of name do you want for your product?
    • A descriptive name that describes the product exactly (General Motors)?
    • An associative name that describes the product with a nonword (Facebook, LinkedIn)?
    • An evocative name that has little to no relevance to the product (Amazon, Apple)?
    • An invented name that has no relevance to the product (KODAK, Spotify)?

The answers to the questions above – and the following general tips – will help you stay on the right track toward discovering the ideal name for your product:

  • Be Meaningful And Memorable
    What do you think about when you hear Chapstick, Post-Its or Band-Aid? They speak to the purpose or value of the product. There’s no fuzz to them. It’s straight to the point. Most of all, they’re memorable.
  • Be Creative But Not Complicated
    Thinking outside the box is a great strategy, but you don’t want to stray too far away and forget that your product name should be simple and easy to pronounce. You can use various techniques to create an interesting and unique product name, like using synonyms, changing the spelling of words, using a prefix or suffix and combining multiple words. Think of Ziploc, Pinterest, Starbucks and iPhone.
  • Be Different For A Reason
    Don’t be different just for the sake of being different. Instead, think about your product with a new perspective while trying to remain meaningful, memorable and creative. For example, Ping-Pong on its own doesn’t give any indication that it’s a variation of table tennis. However, Ping-Pong was named after the sound produced when the ball hits the racket and the table. Sometimes a good product name seemingly has very little to do with the product itself. But once you take a deeper look inside (or listen), you’ll realize the clever connection.
  • Think Big Picture
    Thinking universally will help you develop an appropriate product name that will not be offensive or misconstrued. The Chevrolet Nova is an excellent example of this. In English, nova is a star that is brightly shining. However, in the Spanish market, nova sounds like “no va,” which translates to “doesn’t work.” It’s a pretty ironic oversight, considering it’s the name of a vehicle. Additionally, you need to be conscious of trademarks. Because there are countless products out in the world, you want to be vigilant about accidental trademark violations. You don’t want to launch your product only to face an infringement lawsuit the next day.

When you consider the importance of your product and how it can affect your brand and your company’s future, product naming should be taken seriously and given the time and energy it deserves. With a good strategy in place, there’s no need to stress.

Now that you know the basics of successful product naming, it’s time to start brainstorming. If you need help discovering the perfect name for your product, reach out to DeanHouston+!


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