What I’m talking about is creating a product name, and I’ve never had to develop a product name. I’ve typically developed a company, and I developed a brand that I wanted to be associated with my company and everything. But I thought, there are people that develop apps, and different things, and brand names are very critical. So I wanted to take you through what I know about that and how you should go about it.
Names Instantly Give an Impression
So whatever name you choose, you gotta think of what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear that name? And this is where the difference between a brand name and a brand position of a company like Lowes comes to mind. You think of Lowe’s as probably a huge home improvement store, but it’s not directly related to the name. There’s nothing special about that name.
But let’s look at an individual product, like Gorilla Glue. Well, that’s a great name. You clearly get this idea as soon as you hear it: this super strong glue. So Gorilla Glue is an example of a great name. It immediately creates an impression in your mind.
Can the Name Explain the Product Better?
Like BAND-AID. We all kinda understand, that we know what a band at is. SLEEP-AID, if you have trouble sleeping, you buy SLEEP-AID. It’s pretty obvious what it does.
Okay, Gatorade and then you’ve got Powerade. We all get the general-idea. So if you can pick a name that helps explain the product better, well then that’s great. So if you’re thinking of creating a product, do you want to have a name that ties to that?
Does it Translate Internationally?
What does that mean? To give an example, Ford had a hard time selling its car brand Pinto in the 70s and I believe in the 80s. It did not sell well, in Brazil. Why? Because it basically meant in Portuguese slang: tiny male genitalia.
That would probably not be a product that most guys would want to buy and so it didn’t translate well internationally.
Does it Stand Out?
Gorilla Glue stands out.
You want to have a name that’s distinct and it’s unique. You want something that differentiates your product when people see it. It is catchy.
It Needs to Be Short
If you’re creating a name you want it to be short and catchy because shorty names are catchy and easier to remember.
There’s kind of a phrase for this…It needs to be sticky.
It Needs to Be a Good Fit With the Business
Example: Rolex. If you’re trying to have an esteemed brand for a watch, Rolex kind of fits. You wouldn’t have some cartoon goofy name for it.
In the example that is Disney, the name of Goofy and Mickey fit that element of fun that they’re trying to portray. If you’re a higher-end brand and you have a higher-end target customer, then you’re probably not going to want to use a silly name. That just makes sense. And if your target audience is children, you don’t want it to be this very high educated-sounding name. You want to stay within the target market.
It Needs to Be Simple to Spell and Pronounce
Why make it difficult? Again, short, catchy easy to pronounce, easy to spell.
Does It Give You a Good Feeling When You Hear It?
- Nike: Just Do it
- A Coke and a Smile
A name, just like a good impression, it does give a feel to it as well.
Can It be Trademarked?
This is so important here. If you can’t trademark it, you’re losing the intellectual property. You’re losing something that you can sell. A product that cannot be trademarked is like having a great idea that you don’t own. So if you’re going to pick a product’s name you need to be able to trademark it. You think of all the great products with their great names. You want to have something that it’s yours, you own it.
If you sell your company, you can sell that product. That product brings more value to your company in a sale and/or you could sell off a product line without selling the company.
Can You Get the Domain for It?
I think this is important in the way that we brand things. If you can’t get the domain for it, somebody’s probably already trademarked it anyway, so that would be just a massive mistake.
So again, just talking about branding trying to help you. It’s critical when you’re coming up with a product brand name. That is definitely something you need to think through and these are just some things that I hope will help you.