What's In a (Product) Name?

Picture this: You’ve done the market research, you’ve worked with your engineers and developers, and you’ve spent countless hours planning. Your newest product is almost ready.

But one piece is missing, a piece that seems simple but can greatly affect your product’s (and your company’s) success: converting the temporary working name into a marketable, memorable name the whole team can agree to.

What is the Product's Name

To marketing outsiders, naming a product seems like it would be easy. However, it requires much research and planning whether it’s a consumer product or B2B technology.

Here are five things to consider when naming your latest product:

Clarity: Your product name should be clear and easy to understand. The name should be directly related to what the product does or what problem it solves. It should be easy to pronounce and, in this environment, easy to search for on Google. If the product will be marketed internationally, the name must not create confusion (or worse, unintended translation) in other languages.

Differentiation: Your product name should help distinguish your product from the competition. Make sure the name is unique and doesn't sound too much like another product’s name, especially a competitor’s. For example, think about the confusion surrounding Dove personal care and Dove Chocolates or Domino Sugar vs Domino’s Pizza.

Memorability: A memorable product name can help with brand recognition and recall. Try to choose a name that is easy to remember, catchy, and evocative. You want your customers to remember your product name as accurately as possible so they can find you when they’re ready to begin their customer journey.

Brand alignment: Your product name should align with your brand values, other products, and overall brand identity. If you’re a staff with a strong sense of humor, it could be tempting to name your product something that gets a big laugh during a meeting. But your brand is serious business, and a funny name may come off as gimmicky or strange. Consider your target audience and make sure your product name resonates with them and fits your brand story.

Legal considerations: Finally, before finalizing your product name, make sure to check for any trademark or copyright infringements. You don't want to risk legal issues down the road that could be expensive and may require a rebrand. The US Patent and Trademark website is a good place to start. So do your research and consult with an attorney to file for trademark registration to ensure that your chosen name is legally available for use.

Think Outside the Meeting Room

During your process, once you’ve narrowed down your list of names to one or two, run them by a trusted source outside of the decision-making team. They might catch something you missed or suggest something you hadn’t thought of that takes things in a new direction.

Landing on a product name can be an exciting challenge for your team. Take your time with it and make sure it’s a name that makes sense to you and your end user.

Last edited: 6/1/2023