It’s All in The Name
After last week’s blog post on branding, we decided to delve a bit deeper on one of the most important elements of your brand: Your product name. Most of the time, naming a product or service can be a complicated matter. Other times, a spur-of-the-moment epiphany. Hopefully, you put some thought into naming your product or your service. It is, after all, your main (and most important!) calling card.
Through the years, we’ve seen many unfortunate naming choices. Sometimes, a bad choice in product name can end a company. In the spirit of making or breaking it, let’s take some time to discuss what should go into naming your product or service.
Like we’ve mentioned before, naming a product or service can be a well-thought-out endeavor with several key stakeholders and long-drawn-out processes. Other times, the owner is sentimentally attached to a particular name and that is the end of it. Either way, there are certain criteria you should consider when naming a product or service.
In her book, Ultra Hi Def Marketing: 5-Step Guide to World Domination in the Tech Industry, Coleen Sterns Leith, the president of Marketing Matters, does a fantastic job of guiding these criteria with pointed questions. For now, we will share a few pointers for each one:
1. Strategic Criteria
Remember when we talked about your story a few weeks ago? The product name should align with everything you have already established about the company. It should be intuitive, with the possibility of being memorable, and highlight some of the product’s main attributes or differentiators.
2. Linguistic Criteria
We’ve all seen the unfortunate case of the name that just doesn’t translate. There’s a particular stationary bike with a massive marketing campaign right now that might not have considered what the product name brings to mind in certain Spanish-speaking countries. Granted the name was taken from a popular cycling term, but if the linguistic criteria had been examined more closely, they might have discovered that the word doesn’t translate well to a considerable market in the USA.
For a list of questions to consider in the linguistic criteria, check out Ultra Hi Def Marketing: 5-Step Guide to World Domination in the Tech Industry.
3. Legal Criteria
Ugh, trademarks. Every marketer’s favorite topic… not! Managing legal intricacies is by far one of the most cumbersome ordeals any marketer can face. But you must do it, there’s no getting around it. If you can, hire a lawyer to support you with this. If not, familiarize yourself with trademark law and make sure to check out the legal availability of your name before you invest a cent towards it.
To wrap it up, as Sterns Leith very well states in her book, “The naming process also comprises a thorough understanding of the target market and competitive landscape. The final name needs to be memorable, filled with meaning and sounds good when you say it aloud.”
For more strategies on developing a fantastic name for your product or service (including Marketing Matters proven four-step process) check out Ultra Hi Def Marketing: 5-Step Guide to World Domination in the Tech Industry.