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Better to have several good name candidates at the end of your name development effort than just one great candidate.  If you only have one clear winner, all too often it’s the one that doesn’t make it through final legal clearance or the linguistic screening or the customer testing.  Also, a name typically becomes “great” only after it has been in the marketplace for a while with the right care and feeding.  Good names offer the potential to become great, some with much less effort than others.

Regarding customer testing, we recommend developing a Brand Potential Index (BPI) at the end of your naming research. A BPI takes the answers from many of the questions you asked and combines them into a single “score” for each name candidate. This score gives you a simple way to compare names to one another.

While we’ll discuss the mechanics of how to create a BPI, how to weight the different metrics, and how to take into account statistical significance in a later post, here are some of the key metrics you may want to include in your intial product naming research:

  1. What do prospective customers initially associate with the name, even before they  know what it is?
  2. If the name is a new product name, what kind of product might it be?  How would they describe it?
  3. How easy is the name to remember?
  4. What impact does the name have on purchase intent?
  5. How well does the name fit the product concept or your company’s positioning?
  6. How easy is the name to spell?  To pronounce?
  7. Does the name make sense alongside your existing masterbrand or company name?
  8. Do they like the name?

Most importantly, while the comprehensiveness and simplicity of a BPI can be seductive, the BPI should never be the only factor in your final name selection.  There are several other factors that often play a key role so stay tuned …

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