Many companies know how to name a product, but do they know how to name a product that will reach their target audience successfully?
Establishing a product name that has never been used before can be quite difficult since there are currently over 500,000 brands worldwide. When creating a new product or product line, companies must ensure that they choose a name that is unique to their own brand.
There are various product naming tips that companies can use to ensure that they create a product name that does not already exist and to ensure that they create a product name that will sell. These tips will be discussed below.
Before reviewing tips on how to come up with a product name, we will discuss 7 key factors which are necessary for companies to think about before they develop one. We will also briefly discuss the mistakes to avoid when generating product naming ideas and the importance of Audience Testing.
- Key Factors for Product Naming
- Simplicity: When a product name is too long and too difficult to remember, it is often unrecognizable to consumers and will be forgotten. Therefore, companies must develop simple yet creative product names that are easily recognizable. For example, Apple was named the most valuable brand in the world in 2020; Apple bases its entire brand on simplicity where the name Apple in itself is very simplistic.
- Visibility: Consumers must be able to find your product online with ease. If consumers are unable to do this online, think about how hard it would be for them to find your product at in-store locations.
- Brand Synergy: During the product naming process, companies must develop a product name that aligns with their brand image. Consumers must be able to connect a company to their brands, and their brands to their individual products.
- Longevity: Product naming ideas that a company generates for a new product must be a name that would make sense to consumers in the future. People often choose product names based on current trends which can result in a loss of their future consumer base. Companies must choose product names that will still make sense to people in 10 years as popular trends shift.
- Scalability: How to name a product depends largely on its intended size and scale. When thinking about generating a new product name, companies must discuss if they intend to make their product global in the future and if they intend to create an entire product line that stems from this one product.
- Uniqueness: With the use of cool product names comes the idea of uniqueness. It is necessary that companies develop a name that is distinctive, in an attempt to make their product stand out from their competitors.
- Market Appeal: Reflecting on what your market appeal is will enhance your product name strategy. For example, companies must develop product names that will appeal to their target markets. Think about what names could potentially attract your target markets.
Mistakes to avoid during the Product Naming Process
- Choosing a product name that is too long.
- Ignoring compatibility with global consumers.
- Assuming your creative product names do not already exist.
- Choosing product names that you like, not ones that will appeal to your target markets.
- Limiting product names to ones that are descriptive- product names are often best when simple.
- Generating a product name too quickly without much thought.
Companies must first develop a product name strategy which they can then transform into product naming processes that must be carried out. Creating a product name takes time when you consider the 7 key factors I have listed above and incorporate the product naming tips that I will discuss below. It is important to note that companies must be certain that they do not create a product name that already exists. If your company does that, they could have a trademark lawsuit filed against them. If your company focuses on how to name a product efficiently and does not rush the process, they will find success. Even the simplest names can be viewed as creative product names.
The Importance of Audience Testing
Audience testing refers to surveys that people can complete to help companies gain an outside perspective on what they think about potential product names. Audience testing is based on demographic factors. Therefore, companies would need to assess who they are going to target based on age, race, ethnicity, gender, income, and employment.
After collecting this demographic information, companies can reach out to potential consumers (within their demographic standards) who could fill out their surveys. These surveys would enable companies to gain a sense of what product names were popular and what product names were unpopular.
Audience testing is necessary when developing product naming ideas because it allows companies to understand if their product names are or are not appealing to their intended audiences. There is no point in moving forward with potential product names if a company’s target market is not in favor of them. Audience testing increases the success of a product name when implemented into its product name strategy.
What To Consider When Audience Testing is Needed
- Cost/ Budget
- Quantity/ Size
Companies must think about how many potential consumers could complete their survey within their budget. The larger the target audience you can test, the more accurate insight companies will gain from their target audience. It is vital that companies phrase the questions of their survey in a way in which the audience can consider a brand through deep-rooted context. Questions that are too simple and vague do not allow the audience to elaborate on their thoughts about product names, although surveys must begin with open questions. Asking questions based on the audience’s values may also be necessary for gaining accurate insight. Companies must know how to use audience testing to ensure that they can achieve product naming success.
Tips on How to Name a Product Successfully
Companies are constantly slumped on how to name a product that will appeal to their target audience effectively. Cool product names may be easy to generate, although there are measures to take which will ensure that your product name will be able to sell your new product. The tips provided below will guide companies on how to come up with a product name that will market their product successfully. These tips will also help companies understand what elements should be implemented into their product naming process.
- Change the spelling of pre-existing words: When stuck on how to come up with a product name, companies can simply use an existing word and change/ adjust its spelling such as Kellogg’s “Froot Loop” cereal. Here, we see that Kellogg changed the word “fruit” to be spelled as “froot”. Changing the spelling of pre-existing words can develop cool product names.
- Combine two words to develop a compound word: Using two words to create a compound word is commonly seen in company names themselves and has proven to be very successful. Examples of company names that are compound words are Facebook, Fitbit, and Door Dash. In many cases, it is necessary for companies to use a compound word as their product name because many names have already been trademarked.
- Add a suffix or prefix: To make a product name that stands out, companies can add a suffix or prefix to existing words. Examples of prefixes that could be used at the beginning of a product name could be pre, post, under, anti, uni, and ex.
- Make your product name memorable: To make a product name that is memorable, you need to develop a product name that is easy to say and easy to spell. When words are easy to name and spell, they are both easily remembered and easily recognized. An example of a product that is easily recognizable by most adults would be the iPhone. This word is both easy to spell and pronounce! Companies must know how to establish a product naming process that ensures that their product names will be memorable to consumers.
- Use a person’s name or a place: When confused about how to name a product, companies may want to think about using the name of a person or place. For example, the Bowler hat was named after William Bowler, and Graham Crackers were named after Sylvester Graham. Although, it is important to note that companies must be careful when creating a product name after a person. If that person comes to have a bad reputation, this could potentially decrease sales because consumers associate the product with that person. Developing a product name based on a place may become a future problem if a company chooses to expand its products outside of that geographical area.
- Create an Acronym: Acronyms are abbreviated phrases through letters and words. Examples of popular product names that are abbreviated are M&M’s, and EOS. Company names such as MAC, JCPenney, and DSW are also acronyms.
- Use a Verb: Using a verb as a method for how to name a product can be efficient in catching the eyes of consumers. We often see product names and company names being turned into verbs when discussing their uses. For example, people may say “I am going to google that”, “We need to uber now”, or “Can you Venmo me for dinner”. Using a verb for a product name is effective since many consumers transform product names into verbs themselves.
- Make up a word: Making up a word to create a product name is an effective method because it makes the product name unique. With uniqueness comes distinctness; this will allow your product name to stand out from other companies. A popular product name that was made up is Gatorade.
When companies question how to name a product successfully, they should use the key factors, mistakes to avoid, and tips on how to successfully name a product from above. Creating a new product name often seems easy yet developing a product name that will sell can take up to months to create. It is vital that companies use audience testing to gain insight into what product names their specific target markets favor. Companies must know how to revolve product naming around their overall brand and company message.