Developing a Great Product Name or Service Name
Are you looking for an all-powerful product name? You know, the kind of transcendent name that stands out from the rest? Our naming pros share the secrets to finding a winning product name.
Company naming, product naming and service naming follow similar developmental processes. But there are some unique challenges when it comes to the naming a product and a service.
In product and service naming, consideration must be given to congruity with the brand line, product line, and the organization as a whole. And the product name should support the overall strategic planning decisions of your firm.
Check out some of the recent product names developed by the Brandings™ naming team:
Especially relevant for product naming, it is not necessary that the product name be the same as the company name. Of course, the exception is if your firm only offers the one product and you don’t ever plan on expanding. And for a single product company, we recommend that the product name, company name and the domain name all be identical, in a way of streamlining your operation.
In general, a product is a tangible good – something that you can feel and touch – whereas a service is intangible. There are hybrid goods where the company provides a customer with both a physical good and an intangible service. For the purpose of simplicity, we will use the term “product” in reference to both goods and services in our tips for naming a product below.
7 Characteristics of a Great Product Name
- Product Name Availability One of the biggest challenges facing product naming professionals is the issue of availability. Over the years, the team at Brandings™, has created tens of thousands of great names for products, only to find that the name can’t be used. With billions of products on the market, and more launched each year, there is a very high likelihood that a product name choice is in use somewhere around the world. With that said, just because someone is using your product name idea, DOES NOT mean that you can’t. Get familiar with how the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) works and how they divide products in different “Classifications of Goods and Services.” As long as your product is not “Confusingly Similar” to another with the same industry, you may be able to use the same name. Learn more about how the USPTO works here.
- Dot-COM Domain Name Availability It is essential that the dot-com domain name be available for the product. The product name and the domain name must be identical. For example, Proctor & Gamble must own Tide.com for their laundry detergent Tide. This is a key consideration when choosing a product name. If you can’t procure the domain name for your product you MUST move on to another name. Using a Domain Name Extension that is not the dot-com will only lead your customers to the wrong site, and this just may be your competition.
- Product Name Length Matters When choosing a new name for a product, length matters. In most cases, a successful name for a product is fewer than 11 characters. So, you will want to ensure that the name of your product is tightly focused. The longer the name, the greater the chance for confusion, mix-ups and misspellings.
- Texture of the Product Name This is the “art” side in the creation of a winning product name. The name selected should roll off the tongue and have a pleasing sound and texture. The best names for a new product are clear when vocalized and easy to pronounce. A good product name should also have a visual design that is consistent with the overall strategy of the firm. Design considerations should be undertaken in conjunction with product name creation.
- Spelling of a Product Name A good product name is easy to spell. Ideally, the perfect name should have only one spelling option; there should be only one way to spell the name. The more alternatives there are in the spelling of a prospective product name, the more likely a firm is to confuse or lose customers. In our global marketplace English has emerged as the clear language of choice for global business. The dot-com domain extension also emerged as the domain extension of global business. The best names for a product may be in the preferred language of a region but should have a clear English translation.
- Alphabetic Characters When creating a name for a product, the selection SHOULD NOT contain numbers or hyphens. There are a few isolated cases where hyphens and numbers can be used effectively but in general hyphens, numbers and other characters like &^$#@* pose challenges and careful design to avoid consumer confusion.For example, picture two people talking about your product name? One person is trying to explain where the ampersand goes in the name, or is trying to explain that the dollar sign really represents an “s.” It’s just going to confuse people.
- Global Implications If you are planning on selling your products outside of your home country you should consider the universal appeal of your product name. The best names for global products should have a global appeal and be culturally non-offensive.
We hope this article was useful as your create a name for your company product. We welcome your comments and suggestions and we’re available to help you in your product naming activities. Our naming specialists can help you select the right name for your product. A great product name is just a call or click away.
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