The name of the product is a key aspect of the brand. The name you finally choose will reflect who you are, the personality and vision of your business.
But the most important thing is that you must unforgettably embody the promise of the main benefit of your product to your potential customers.
It may be generic for its competitors, but ideally, it stands out from the crowd. Where to start? Here are some basic guidelines.
Table of Contents
- 1 Basic Guidelines For Selecting Product & Brand Name
- 1.1 1) If the field’s too crowded, be Unique
- 1.2 2. Avoid Tongue-Twisters
- 1.3 3. Closely Connected Words Can Help Even With Longer Name
- 1.4 4. Avoid Abbreviations
- 1.5 5. Convey an Implied Benefit
- 1.6 6. Lost in Translation…or worse!
- 1.7 7. Sensitive Words
- 1.8 8. Protect Your Image
- 1.9 9. Don’t Forget Legal Entities
Basic Guidelines For Selecting Product & Brand Name
1) If the field’s too crowded, be Unique
MSN Search, Netscape Search, AOL Search, all stayed in the same category, so you can play safely and get ahead with Stupendous Search.
It works for a while, but as soon as the crowd becomes full, you will lose yourself in the similarity with diminished name recognition.
If it’s in the long term, it’s better to separate yourself from the crowd with a name like Google, Yahoo or even Dogpile (although I’m not a fan of going into the scat category just to be unique).
2. Avoid Tongue-Twisters
We are so embarrassed when we discuss some products with friends because of the name, the name should be simple, and should be easy for pronunciation.
Therefore, be kind to your potential customers and avoid tongue twisters, or any other unusually long or strange name. If you cannot find a single word, do not omit more than two or three words.
3. Closely Connected Words Can Help Even With Longer Name
Suppose if you couldn’t find any particular word which attracts people like Jaborejob, try to find 2 or 3 words which start with the same pronunciation and adds to the remembrance value of the customer.
Consider Circuit City or Downtown Disney, or the most famous brand in the world, Coca Cola. All these rolls off the tongue with repeated pronunciation in the starting of the word.
4. Avoid Abbreviations
Abbreviations lack personality and communicate very little in terms of benefit or brand character.
Like IBM, MCI, and ABC have big recognition and identity, but they also spent years and millions in virtually all media to promote their image—using images of people and situations that were warm and fuzzy.
Even billionaire Bill Gates chose Microsoft over MS (which has some undesirable connotations).
5. Convey an Implied Benefit
If you don’t have a lot of media dollars to spend on branding, try for a name that conveys a benefit or describes your product.
Snapple started out with a name that combined two of its original flavors: Spice N Apple. Silk—the soy-based milk brand—combines soy and milk.
Benefit-oriented names include EasyOff (oven cleaner), Miracle-Grow (plant food), and Hearthwarmer (a fireplace insert).
6. Lost in Translation…or worse!
Most of us have heard the story of Chevrolet introducing their “Nova” in Spanish-speaking countries. The car tanked because ‘nova’ means “doesn’t go.” Fiat found they had to rename their “uno” in Finland since “Uno” means garbage in Finnish.
Canadian products require labeling in both English and French, which is why on some cookie boxes, the English phrase “without preservatives” has been unintentionally translated into the French “sans preservatives,” which means “without condoms”.
7. Sensitive Words
You have to be careful while selecting a name for your product or brand because the same words pronounced may have different meaning according to different geographical locations.
Many times it may hurt based on the intense of the meaning, so research before doing so.
8. Protect Your Image
If you’re like most companies, you worked hard and spent some real money creating the image of your company. So it only makes sense to protect your investment with a product name that’s consistent with your existing brands and image.
Rolls Royce had to pull the name of its newest addition to the Silver Cloud line, which they tentatively named the “Silver Mist,” since in German, “mist” means manure. So build on what you have.
A good example: Google’s entry into online shopping with Froogle. Incidentally, if you’re wondering where “Google” came from, it’s a variation on the math term googol, a huge number with endless zeros.
9. Don’t Forget Legal Entities
Once you’ve settled on a few ideal prospective names, hire a good lawyer to make sure they’re not already being used and not confusingly similar to someone else’s in your industry.
Hopefully, this brief overview will help and guide you through distinct product naming. Remember, try to be unique and benefit-oriented without being confusing or offensive. Avoid fads, abbreviations and tongue twisters. And, by all means, protect your image.