What’s in a product name?

Launching a new product takes a lot of time, effort, and coordination of departments within the company. While there is a lot to think about at this exciting time, don’t overlook the importance of your product name. A good name contributes to the overall success of your product and establishes brand name recognition. 

Choose a name that will represent your product in a way that is not only memorable but has a positive connotation. When marketing to a global audience, do your due diligence regarding meaning and pronunciation in other languages. If you plan to market your product in Mexico, for example, choose a name that is easy to pronounce by Spanish-speaking consumers. 

Another consideration, when naming your product for international sale, is what the word means in the countries where it will be available for purchase. For example, “Bing,” the name of an American-based search engine, means illness or disease in Chinese. And the word “Puffs,” an American brand of tissues, translates literally to brothels in German. 

Picking a direction

When kicking around product names ideas, look for something that is easy to say but also memorable. People have a lot going on in their lives and millions of products to choose from, so the name you choose needs to be able to stick out in the crowd. Beware of potential negative associations so that your brand engenders positivity. 

How to go about picking a name that’s easy to pronounce, stands out in people’s minds, and paints your brand in a good light? There are a number of concepts to use when providing naming guidelines to assist your team when brainstorming. Here are just a few:    

Descriptive names: Names that sound like what your product is – Toys R Us, Chapstick, General Motors.

Made-up words: Catchy names you create for the first time – Gatorade, Fritos, Twix.

Misspellings: Clever ways to spell words – Windex, Liquid-Plumr, Trix.

Combining words: Two words that, together, represent what your product is or what it does – PhotoShop, GooGone, EasyOff. 

Creative naming is a way to make your product stick in the public consciousness and avoid similar product names that have already been trademarked. 

Preparing to launch

Because the importance of choosing the right product name is integral to your launch, the process of picking a product name is not complete until you have tested your top choices on a group of consumers. Well in advance of your target launch date, your marketing team should conduct a study or studies to determine which names are the most appealing and memorable to the focus group.

The name should be selected with plenty of time left to roll out an advertising campaign and sales strategy that build anticipation over the impending launch date. It’s a lot to think about and coordinate, but product launch consulting can provide the key to a positive outcome.