Naming products is not a casual thing like most people take it. I have noticed that many people seek to customize their names or fit them into product names. Of course, that can be nice and all but it might defeat the whole purpose of branding. Naming products, just like many elements in business and entrepreneurship, is both an art and a science. There are strategic and well-researched approaches that can help you appropriately name your products. In this article, I shall be discussing some practical tips you can use in naming your products for success.
It All Starts With Your Brand Identity…
What is your brand, what does it stand for and what does it offer? As a business or startup, what is your vision – where do you intend to go? A product name must be able to significantly communicate those two elements. Your brand and trajectory will also mean you will appeal to a certain market. The name you choose must align and be relatable to people in that segment. The name must not only be unique but should be timeless. Remember simplicity is the ultimate sophistication thus your product name must be simple. It must be catchy and obviously, it must not already be taken up elsewhere – be wary of trademarks.
Tip One: The Name Should Describe
Let me use a perfect example here – Twitter. Twitter is actually the sound of a succession of chirps as uttered by birds. Do you see how that aptly describes what Twitter is all about? Another good example is Facebook. Did you know that Facebook is actually a word used to refer to a reference book or electronic directory made up of individuals’ photographs and names? Yet again this is another example of how descriptive a product name should be.
Tip Two: Think Compound Words
This is one of the ways you can use to come up with good product names. The idea is to find ways of making a name by creatively combining two or more words. A good example is SpaceX – which is basically space and exploration combined in a witty way.
Tip Three: Create Words Or Names From Scratch
You can come up with an interesting product name that does not even exist by using this method. I can mention Yahoo here; many do not even know that Yahoo is actually an acronym. However, the acronym was put together in such a way that makes it sounds like a word. I can give a funny example here too; my niece ever since she was young she would call my dad Kulo. We have no idea where she got it from but that can actually be a cool product name.
Tip Four: You Can Use Names In Creative Ways
Let us suppose I want to set up a software solutions startup. I can take Cli from my name Clive and add soft from software at the end. In fact, I would have also incorporated the compound words approach. Thus I can end up with Clisoft as a product name. Alternatively, I can take it a step further to combine Clive, software, and solutions. I can come up with Clisol with so representing both software and solutions and sol including the solutions element. I am just demonstrating to you how you can play around with these naming tips.
Tip Five: Just Come Up With New Spellings
There are so many possible product names you can come up with this method. For instance, it could be sneakers – you can change it to Sneakers, Snikkers, Snikas, Sneakers, and so on. This is a good approach in that the name will still easily be relatable even without being told.
Tip Six: Blend Words
I mentioned using names creatively but I ended up pre-empting another approach. You can just blend any words to come up with new ones. This way people will be able to quickly notice relatable things such as suffixes and prefixes. I can use the example of blending computer and ticket to come up with CompuTicket. This is actually an existing name that refers to a computerised ticketing service.
Tip Seven: Go For Acronyms
This is yet another easy go-to when all else fails. Be that as it may, acronyms might not be immediately relatable or recognizable. The example of Yahoo is a good one here too. Many people do not even know it is an acronym but Yahoo managed to grow the popularity of the name. So if you choose this route be prepared to work in making the name widely known. By the way, Yahoo stands for yet another hierarchical officious offering. Interestingly yahoo can also be an exclamation of joy or a battle cry.
Tip Eight: Use Doing Words
This depends on the type of product though. However, if the product has a verb element that is unique to it or uniquely identifies it you can use it as a name. An example here can be the ride-sharing startup, Lyft. There is a verb element and there is even also a change of spelling element. Vaya, another ride-sharing startup also fits as an example here. Vaya actually means go when translated to English.
These are just some workable examples to show you the endless possibilities you have. You can even come up with your own unique ways of naming products. If you extensively study many enterprises in the world you will be amazed at the varying back stories. Nonetheless in light of everything remember you want a name that communicates the identity of your brand. You also want a name that makes plain the trajectory you wish to or are taking. It must be unique, catchy, relatable, memorable, simple, and timeless.