How to Come Up with A Product Name

By: Megan Dzialo

Figuring out how to come up with a product name might initially sound pretty easy and fun, after all- it’s just a name, right? The product quality will speak for itself, won’t it? While it’s worth patting yourself on the back for coming up with such a revolutionary, ground-breaking product, the last thing you want to do is send it down the drain with a boring, confusing, or mediocre brand name. After 35 years of business naming and product naming, we have seen names make and break companies. Sure, you can’t entirely blame a name for the failure or success of your business, but just like meeting a stranger, a name is the first “handshake” a prospective customer has with your business, and first impressions are everything. So how do you ensure your new product’s first impression is a good one? It starts with an incredible name. So how do you come up with a product name?

  1. Who is your product for?

Before the brainstorming begins, consider who you made your product for. What’s the gender, age, and socioeconomic status of your target? What are their interests and what other types of products do they like to buy? Creating buyer personas can help hold you accountable to upholding the most important aspects of your product when coming up with a product name. After all, if you don’t name your product for your target market, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

  1. What do you want your new name to do?

This might seem like a silly question, but answering it might be more complicated than you think. The obvious answer might be “make me money”, but how do you want your product name to do that? Do you want a name that is attention-grabbing and creates trial purchases birthed out of curiosity, like Angry Orchard? Do you want your name to have more gravitas, efficacy, and trustworthiness to gain loyal and long-term customers, like Capstone? Do you want your product name to have “house-of-brands” potential to expand your product offerings in the future, like Bernzomatic? Nailing your new product name objectives can help you hone-in on the type of product names you should be considering.

  1. What’s the competition like?

Assess the competition in your space. What types of product names are already out there? You don’t want to come up with a new product name that sounds just like your biggest competitor’s. Discover the strategies you don’t want to copy and dig deep into your greatest differentiators that set your product apart from the rest. Focusing on the problem and solution that your product addresses is a good foundation to start from.While a name can’t capture every single differentiating aspect of your product, it can usually encompass 1-2 characteristics that’s unique to your product, so make sure that you understand what those are.

  1. What type of name makes the most sense?

When product naming, there are many styles of names out there to choose from. From the zany to the descriptive and everything in between. While aspirational and made-up names like “Jacuzzi” are less descriptive and require a more robust marketing strategy, telegraphic names, like Kraft’s Shake ‘N Bake, are much more descriptive and do more heavy-lifting for your marketing team. Metaphorical names are interesting as they are less distant from descriptive and make you think deeper, but are usually suggestive in some ways as to the service or product you’re offering. For example, Jaguar, the luxury vehicle company, is a metaphor for how fast and powerful the cars are. In our experience, product names tend to be more descriptive in nature than business or service names as they usually need to communicate the value they can provide their customers more quickly and easily. Remington’s CleanXChange razor is a great example of this. 

  1. Get to brainstorming.

After you have nailed your naming objectives and have an idea as to what you need your name to do and what style of name will be most appropriate, it’s time to have some fun and  brainstorm product name ideas. Once you have a solid list of viable names, it’s important to keep these 6 tips in mind when choosing the best name from the bunch.

Coming up with a product name can be really fun and rewarding, but it can also be really difficult, especially when it comes to trademarking your new name. Hiring a naming agency who understands the ins and outs of coming up with a product name and securing the trademark and exact dot-come can save you from the heartbreak of falling in love with a name that you can’t have and can make the brand naming process enjoyable for everyone involved. 

NameStormers has been naming business, products, and services for close to 35 years and has gained recognition as a top naming agency in the U.S.A and beyond. NameStormers is passionate about giving companies the opportunity they deserve through the power of an incredible name. Give us a call today to discuss your naming needs and how we can help you make a splash in your industry!