In the early ‘90s, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos set out to find a brand name for his small bookseller. Wanting to associate the amazing logistics with magic, Bezos opted to name the company Cadabra, in reference to ‘abracadabra’.

The name was anything but. Bezos’ first lawyer pointed out that over the phone you could easily mishear ‘cadaver’ instead. Luckily, Bezos saw the light and renamed his little e-commerce site after the world’s largest river, Amazon.

Like naming your company, naming your products can have far-reaching consequences, both good and bad. The right names can help launch your product to greater success, while the wrong names can drive your market away. Learn more about naming products by reading our new article, Guide to Product Naming.

What’s in a Name?

Unfortunately, Shakespeare (and Juliet) got it wrong. Names have power and the right name can help you translate value, market your product, and increase brand awareness.  So where do you start? The first step is coming up with a great name. Some tactics include:

  • Descriptive Words like Post-Its or Chapstick
  • Real Words like Microsoft Word or Magic Eraser
  • Made-up words like Doritos or Sharpie
  • Blended words like McNuggets or Nyquil
  • Misspelled words like Kleenex and Froot Loops

Your names should also stand up to a few litmus tests like:

  • Easy to remember. Your name should be easy for your consumers to remember. Fighting for mindshare is tough, but a great name makes it easier to break through the noise and garner interest.
  • Positive associations. It’s easy to accidentally name something that has a negative association. Run your names by several audiences to identify any pitfalls.
  • Easy to pronounce. Names that are easy to pronounce are easy to share.
  • Easy to understand. It’s much better for your consumer to spend time evaluating if they want to purchase your product than trying to understand what your product actually is. A good name can facilitate that process.
  • Accommodates international audiences. If your product transcends borders, ensuring your name transfers can help you gain market share globally.

How to Evaluate Your Product Names

To evaluate your product names, ask respondents to rank and rate each of your names. This gives you an idea for general preference. For more detailed analysis, ask about different areas like:

  • Appeal – is your name enticing?
  • Trustworthy – is the name something you would trust, or does it feel like a gimmick?
  • Relevance – Does the name relate to what your product actually does?
  • Creativity – is your product name memorable?

These results can give you more granular feedback on what is working or not working with your proposed product names.

Conclusion

Sending your product into the world with a great name increases your odds of overall product success.

For more information, about product naming, download our free Qualtrics eBook, What’s in a name? A beginner’s guide to product naming.

eBook: What’s in a name? A beginner guide to product naming

Download eBook