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Choosing the right name for your product

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Product names are the most important part of a product. They can influence a customer to purchase a product or avoid it. A great product name is memorable and concise, while a bad one is vague, misleading, or confusing. Sometimes it is difficult to name a new product. There are thousands of brands out there, and many names have already been taken. When choosing a name, you need to do a lot of research and planning. You also need to brainstorm and test names before you launch. You can’t just pick any old name as it will be part of your brand name. It needs to fit in with your brand name, and also be memorable.

Must-haves for Product Name

Product names should evoke a feeling, perception, or impression in your ideal customer. Are you thinking the big picture? Do you see this as a stand-alone product or something to grow into a larger product line? If it’s the latter, you’ll want to take that into consideration when choosing a name. If people can't find and search for your product online, consider it dead on arrival. Differentiation: Competition is fierce. Your product should have a unique name that stands out from the crowd.

Don’t be tempted to use the latest fad as inspiration for your new product name. Ask yourself, “will this name make sense to people in 10 years?”

With the simplicity of the internet, we sometimes misspell words and Google helps us out. But that’s not good enough. We want people to be able to find and talk about our products easily. The easier it is for your audience to find you, the more likely they will be to find and purchase from you.

Product Name's Role

Your product name should just sound cool, its primary job is to guide your customer to buy it, by showing them why it’s the right choice for them. Your product brand name should convey that it is a part of your company’s family. The same way you have your iPhone, iPad, and iTunes, you can launch a new product under the same family name. This makes it clear to consumers that they are still dealing with the same trusted brand.

Lastly, you should pick a name for your product. Your name should make a specific impression. It should tell people what your product is and what it does. For example, people reach for Kleenex to clean their nose because the brand made the name generic for all tissues.

Questions to Consider Before Choosing a Product Name

Is it better to have a long or short product name?

How would you describe your product's value?

Are you targeting a specific group of people?

Would your customers be more receptive to a real word (or words) or a made-up word?

When you choose a product name, are you worried that it sounds too similar to another brand’s?

Tips for Product Naming Success

Use Descriptive Language

One of the most common ways to name a product is to use a descriptive word. With Grammarly, the word grammar is one of the first words that comes to mind when people think of a writing checker. Perhaps this is the most descriptive name of all time.

Add a twist to real words

Any time you have words in your product titles, consider how they can be used figuratively. For example, the Ford Mustang is a car that’s designed to be fast and sleek. Or the Ford Expedition is a car that’s built to take on adventures.

Prefix or Suffix

Apple is a master of product naming. Although you may think that the words “iPhone” or “iPad” are not products, Apple has applied prefixes and suffixes to create unique names. For example, the iPhone is a phone, but “i” means “internet”, so it's an internet phone. And the iPad is a computer, but “i” means “internet”, so it's an internet-enabled computer. Apple applies this product naming technique to all of its products.

Compound Word

Because so many brand and product names are already trademarked and the associated domain names have already been registered, it’s common these days for product names to be compound words made by putting two words together to form an entirely new brand or product name. Examples include Adobe Photoshop, Intuit TurboTax, and 3M Post-it Notes.

Spelling change

Some brands use misspelled words in their product names. It’s creative and helps when the name of the product you want is taken. For example, Trix and Kix cereals are named after the word “tricks” because that word was not trademarked at the time. Or if you are looking for a domain name to use, you might try replacing letters with numbers or symbols. For example, if you want to sell a product called “Fantastik

Blend Words

Sometimes you need a word that doesn’t already exist. You can create a new word by tweaking and blending existing words. NyQuil is a tweak and blend of night and tranquil. Pictionary is a tweak and blend of picture and dictionary.

Place or Person’s Name

Remember the George Foreman grill? Or how about the Clark bar? You'll want to avoid using a person's name in your product name, unless you're sure that person will be around for the long haul. A day may come when you want to expand beyond your geographic area or if the person whose name you used leaves to work for a competitor or in another industry.

VerbS

You can make a verb out of your product name or turn a word in your product name into a verb. For example, FaceTime has become a verb as people say things like, “FaceTime me later and we’ll talk.” Swiffer is another good example. People will sometimes say things like, “Look at that dust I just swiffered away.”

Analyzing Your Results

After you run the names through the results, you will see how each name is rated by consumers. You will see which names are the best overall and by category. The data will also tell you which names have the most positive sentiment and will be the best performers.

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