How to Name a Product – Do This, Avoid That

name a product

So you have a great idea to start up a new business. You know the product you want to launch, you know through research that there is demand for this product and there is a good chance it will be successful. You go ahead and go into production and start selling it and even though there is nothing wrong with that product, it’s not performing as well as you thought it would. You go around doing even more research to find out what’s wrong and after numerous hours of work and payments, you find out the name of your product is what is keeping it away from your customers.

As easy as people may think it to be, coming up with unique product names is not easy. You need to put a lot of thought and effort into the process and is just as important as designing and producing it. There are a lot of factors that must be considered before you let your product out into the world and this extensive guide will give you a number of tips on how you can go around naming your product.

Name A Product The Right Way

The Name Should Describe The Product
The first most important aspect of the product name is that it should say something about the product. The name Microsoft use for their web browser – the Internet Explorer – is the best example. It helps people explore the vast internet. It’s simple yet effective.

Using Words with Different Meanings
Sometimes products can be named after words that don’t describe the product directly but have an indirect reference to the product. For example if we look at the Ford Mustang, it basically means the car has the power and beauty of a Mustang while their Adventurer is the best tool for adventures.

Adding Prefixes and Suffixes
A lot of good product names utilize the simplest words but are turned into a world renowned brand simply by adding prefixes or suffixes. For example, the best known phone in the world – the iPhone – is the most recognizable example.

Mash Words Together
You can make a name by joining two words that may not individually describe your product but together can make some sense as to what your product does. This technique is particularly useful in coming up with good product names because of the vast quantity of products that are already registered, you can make up a word by combining two together. An example of such a technique can be PhotoShop, the photo editing software.

Create a Word
Who says you have to use words that exist. Let your creativity flow and make up a word by yourself. People might not understand what your product is from the word itself but the uniqueness might be a strong selling point. Gatorade is such a word that doesn’t have a dictionary meaning but a large portion of the world population know what it is.

Modify Word Spellings
You find a good name for your product but unfortunately something with a similar name already exists. A quick fix to such a problem is to just alter the spelling to suit your needs! Fantastik and Trix are examples.

Merge Words Together
When you cannot work with a single word or mashing words together, you can try merging two words into one. For example, Pictionary comes from a merging of the words “picture” and “dictionary” and is exactly that – a picture dictionary.

Go With Places or People
A lot of the products in the world are named after important people or landmark places. This can be a great idea when you want to name a product after a celebrity who will endorse it or after a geographical landmark based on your primary selling region. However it is important to note whether your chosen name can expand beyond this geographical constraint when necessary or when your endorser decides to leave for a competitor or a different industry.

Don’t Be Limited By Words
It’s not written in stone that your product must be named by words. You can name it using a bunch of letters to make an acronym or after initials of something meaningful. You can also throw in a few numbers into the mix and get a really good combination for your product. Examples of this method can be the Acura NSX or the Toyota Rav4.

Go With A Verb
The best thing you can hope for your product is for its brand name to turn into a regular word or verb which people use in everyday conversation. Some products, usually social media have been highly successful in this avenue. For example, “Whatsapp me” or “Im Skyping” are very common phrases used by people every day because of how successfully the product was accepted by the consumers.

Got any more tips? Share them with us in the comments..

Image by: Alan Stark