You’ve spent months perfecting your product. You’ve done all of your research and tested your product concept. Naming can be a challenging task—whether it’s babies, products, brands, or boats. The process may get emotional or contentious, but you’ll ultimately find the perfect name.
The perfect product name will support a healthy launch, support sales, and increase your brand awareness. But do you know how to name a product? We can help. Read on for tips on giving your product a name that will attract buyers.
Product naming is the process of brainstorming, researching, testing, and applying compelling and unique names for your products. This may sound easy, but finding the perfect product name can actually be quite tricky.
There are a lot of moving parts to consider. Your product name will involve how you will compete in the existing marketplace, attract the attention of your target market, and support the message of how your product is part of your overall brand identity. There are several ways successful product names affect your brand:
Get your concepts vetted by your target audience first.
It’s best to approach naming your product with a plan. Some like to start brainstorming immediately, but that may waste precious time as it tends to be less focused. Instead, try these five steps to organize your process and find the right name for your product:
Is your product a new version of an existing product? Is it the debut of an entirely new product? Align your product name with your marketing strategy for the product by identifying and analyzing:
After defining your objectives, it’s time to brainstorm ideas. This is an opportunity to gather your team and get creative. Be sure you stick to the product objectives you’ve laid out in the first step. Make a long list of names—write down everyone’s suggestions at this point— and then review the list to narrow it down to the most promising options.
Here are some common approaches to brainstorming product names*:
*Please note that all product examples are fictional.
Once you’ve narrowed your brainstorming list down, it’s time to do some research. Does your product name align with your brand identity? Does it reflect your marketing goals? Is it appealing to your target audience? Read our concept testing solutions blog post to help you understand our methodology in helping you bring your best products, ideas, and names to the market.
Research should also be conducted to:
Remove any names that don’t make it through your research, and reorder the list that’s left in order of priority.
Take your final list of names and conduct market research to determine how potential customers feel about them. The SurveyMonkey Brand Name Analysis tool compares and scores your naming concepts to provide you with qualitative feedback to determine which name is favored by your target market. Review the analysis and settle on your name. Product name testing gives you everything you need to choose the best name for your market. In fact, you can use our concept testing tools throughout the product life cycle.
Prepare the product and brand social media accounts for launch. Purchase domain names as needed. Make plans for eye-catching packaging design—and don’t forget to test your packaging design before launch. Draft new content for your website that features the new product.
Still struggling with a product name? We’ve put together a list of best practices to help you develop great ideas.
Keep your company mission and values in mind. Use them as guidance for brainstorming—you should be able to come up with several ideas. Choose a name that ties into your brand identity so that it will mesh with your overall marketing strategy.
Shorter names are generally easier to remember. By keeping your product name short, simple, and easy to spell, your customers will be able to remember it. They’ll also have an easier time sharing it on social media.
A unique, memorable name will set you apart from the competition. Depending on your market, competition can be tough. A distinctive name will stand out and hopefully be remembered by your customers.
Sure, it looks good on paper, but have you tried to say it aloud? Remember, your customers need to be able to ask about it, talk about it, and recommend it verbally.
Take “anemone,” for example. It’s a lovely word and an even lovelier flower. But did you know that it’s pronounced [uh–nem–uh-nee]? If your name has a similar flavor, pass on it in favor of something easier to say.
You’re three steps away from easy, on demand market research.
Plug your name candidates into Google translate. This is an important task that ensures that your product name, even if it’s made up, doesn’t mean something unintended in another language. Yes, “asquerosa” rolls off the tongue—but it means disgusting in Spanish, not something you want to be associated with your product.
If your competitors are clustering around one term in their product names, try to stay away from that term. For example, if you’re marketing a new product for dogs and your competitors have multiple products using the term “bark,” stay away from it. Set your name apart by using other, more inventive words.
Tie your brand identity to the product with an evocative name. Use suggestions and metaphors to evoke a feeling in your customers. A restaurant might be called “The Catch of the Day,” which produces thoughts of being near water, fishing, and fresh seafood.
As we mentioned earlier, your product name should be easy for people to say and simple for them to spell. Ask family, friends, and colleagues to look at the written name and say it aloud or say the name to them and ask them to write it down. If they falter and results indicate the name is problematic, it’s time to go back and find another one.
What is your brand’s vision? What are you trying to accomplish? What values does your brand embody? The answers to these questions influence everything your brand does, including choosing a product name.
Some industries have naming conventions for products. If this is the case for you, you have to decide whether to follow the norm or choose a name that’s outside of the conventions.
Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage for personal and business use. Its name puts two words together and conveys that you can simply drop whatever you want to store in a box. The company has chosen to name its brand and its product the same thing.
The name makes it sound like a more straightforward solution than some competitors, like Sync.com or pCloud. It stands out from other competitors that use the word “Drive” in their name, like Amazon Drive, OneDrive, and Google Drive.
iPhone, iPad, and iPod are all tech products from Apple. The distinctive element here is the “i” prefix. The first iPod paved the way for an unlimited number of products that will be instantly connected in the customers’ minds with the unique naming convention. And Apple isn’t the only company to do this. Many of McDonald’s restaurant fast food items begin with the prefix Mc-, as in McNuggets and McFlurry, or contain Mac in the name, like the Big Mac.
Windows operating system from Microsoft describes the physical windows that appear onscreen when you’re using it while also representing opening a window into the world. Windows versions also generally use numbers when they update, with the notable exceptions of Windows NT, XP, and Vista. Using a number to identify a version makes it easier to name updates and maintain the name of a familiar product.
Give your product every advantage with a great product name. Follow our steps for coming up with names that align with your brand identity. And then check your list against best practices to make sure you’re staying on track with a great name.
Don’t forget to use our tool for product name analysis to find out what your target audience thinks of your name choices.
If you’re still in the early stages of product development, our product concept analysis tool will help you discover what your potential customers want from a product like yours.
Collect market research data by sending your survey to a representative sample
Get help with your market research project by working with our expert research team
Test creative or product concepts using an automated approach to analysis and reporting