How To Name Your Product: A Guide With Steps and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 15, 2022

Published May 11, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Choosing a product name requires planning, imagination and research. If you want to launch a product that resonates with your customers, you might benefit from learning about the product naming process.

In this article, we review what product naming is, why product naming strategy is important and the steps to take when choosing names for your company's products.

Related: How To Choose the Perfect Name for Your Business

What is product naming?

Product naming describes the multi-step process of brainstorming, researching, testing names for an item or service. Since a name can influence how the public perceives a product and its branding message, companies often invest in a detailed naming process. It can also affect multiple departments or areas of operations, such as:

  • Legal: Product names become intellectual property a company can trademark. By copyrighting a name, businesses can protect their goods from plagiarization and prevent others in the industry from taking advantage of them. 

  • Marketing: Companies typically choose product names that best appeal to their market and target demographic. Product naming and marketing strategy processes can inform each other throughout development and after launch.

  • Brand development: Product names create associations that enhance your brand's voice. If your brand has a strong identity, consumers develop more personal loyalty.

Related: How To Choose the Perfect Name for Your Business

Why is a product naming strategy important?

A product naming strategy is important because it ensures your product name decision reflects the needs of your business and the preferences of your customer base. Product names can determine your product's profitability and longevity, plus your brand's future development. Here are more ways a successful product naming strategy affects your business:

  • Boosts product appeal: A well-chosen product name can encourage positive emotions and make your merchandise sound exciting. These factors can influence consumers who’re comparing your product to competing offerings.

  • Increases visibility: A great product name can feel distinct, especially if it uses wordplay or a similar writing convention. Visibility can also affect memorability, making it easier for online customers to search for a product and find relevant results.

  • Improves healthy competition: Often, a company introduces a generic or similar product to an already competitive market. A distinct name supports a brand's effort to earn more market share and establish a positive reputation among a business’ competitors.

  • Enables expansion: If a company expands to other countries or to a community with diverse cultures, then a successful strategy can ensure a product’s name appeals to non-English speakers or international customers.

  • Enhances customer loyalty: Successful product names may encourage customers to recall information about your product. As a result, they can find it again for future purchases or recommend it to someone in their own network. 

Related: 20 Effective Ways To Market a Product

How to use a product naming process 

Here are the steps to take when deciding on a name for a product:

1. Define product objectives

Each product may require a different naming and marketing approach to achieve its sales objectives. For instance, a company might introduce its version of a common product or debut an entirely new technology. To ensure you align a product name with its marketing strategy, you might analyze the following:

  • Audience: Determine who you want to sell your product to and consider what type of name would best attract them. For instance, products that target children often have names with a different tone and style from merchandise that targets teenagers.

  • Competition: A product’s name can indicate its market while preserving your brand identity. Review the names your competitors use for products and how consumers respond to them.

  • Industry: Different industries often have their own conventions that businesses follow when naming products. Decide if you benefit from adhering to them, or if you want to choose a more unusual name for your product.

  • Other products: Many companies emphasize a consistent approach to naming across their product line to reinforce the overall brand image. Loyal customers may appreciate a new name that follows similar conventions and approaches.

  • Branding: Companies use product names to reinforce the values and design philosophy of their brand voice. For instance, some brands choose product names that seem casual and relaxed, while others choose names that sound exclusive and sleek.

Read more: How To Define Your Product’s Value (With Tips) 

2. Brainstorm your naming options

Brainstorm name options alongside a product development team using the conclusions you achieved while defining objectives. It may be helpful to create a lengthy list of names, then highlight the most promising options afterward. Here are some common naming conventions that may help you brainstorm new ideas: 

  • Using a product definition: Some products benefit from straightforward descriptions that explain product function or refer to the producer. For example, if you’re a sole proprietor who sells candles, you might include your own name, followed by something like, “Organic Handmade Candles.”

  • Inventing new words: You might use an invented word that ties to the story of the product's development or communicates a mood and tone that fits your product’s aesthetic appearance or purpose. If the product becomes popular, the name could become synonymous with its overall category. 

  • Creating unique spellings: Consumers may assume that intentionally misspelled or altered words represent a good or service’s brand. For instance, if an outdoor recreation retailer named a paddle brand “EZ Paddles,” customers might recognize the brand language and better recall the company. 

  • Adding metaphors: You can use words that suggest associations you want customers to make with a product, rather than its actual features. A sneaker company might introduce a new line under the name "Wings" to associate their shoes with speed or height.

  • Using acronyms or numbered references: Technological and mechanical products often use acronyms or numbers instead of words to name products. This approach may be especially if you regularly release updated versions of earlier products.

  • Combining multiple words: You might merge different words together to describe how your product offers improvements. For instance, a printer manufacturer might call its devices "InkPros" to refer to its ink efficiency and high-quality prints.

Related:22-Step Product Launch Checklist (Includes Bonus Tips)

3. Research your top choices

Once you have a shortened list of candidate names, study your industry to choose a name that best achieves your marketing goals. Your research might also help you eliminate some possibilities and prioritize others. For example, you might discover that certain naming trends receive more customer engagement by studying your competitors’ public sales data. 

Before commercializing your product name, make sure there aren’t any products on the market using the same language. Afterward, consider securing relevant website domains and usernames on social media platforms for any future marketing ventures. It’s also important to verify the name doesn’t have any unintended, negative associations in other languages. 

Related: How To Conduct a Competitor Products Analysis

4. Use analytics to test your name options 

 Conduct tests on your final options to understand how the public feels about them. Have your marketing and creative team create logotype mock-ups that experiment with different fonts, color palettes and designs. You can use in-person focus groups or online surveys to determine which product name and styling appeals most to the company’s consumers. You can also refer to previous names for inspiration or style formats. Consider prioritizing the option that excites both your customers and the product development team. 

Related: What Are the 4 Types of Data Analytics (With Tips)

5. Apply the name to your product

After selecting a product name, develop a marketing infrastructure that promotes it. To create a successful advertisement campaign, consider making social media accounts and purchasing the web addresses using the username and domain you previously reserved. Improve upon your initial logo design until you're confident it's ready to display on the packaging and reflects your product accurately. 

Related:15 Effective Cross-Promotion Strategies (Plus Benefits)

5 tips for choosing a product name

Here are some tips to consider throughout the product name selection process:

1. Make it meaningful

Choosing a product name that’s meaningful for the company can simplify your marketing efforts. Try brainstorming names that incorporate your company's values so you can have a guiding principle while listing options. As a result, the name may align with your brand's story effectively, which may inspire new advertisement ideas. Your customers can also learn more about your product if the name communicates a story about its background.

Related: What Are Brand Values? Definition, Examples and Why They Matter

2. Practice saying each name out loud

As you review product name ideas, be sure to say them all aloud and practice using them in conversation. Names that sound intriguing are more memorable and can create more interest among consumers who aren't fully aware of your product. This practice can also identify names that sound too much like other words or have complicated pronunciations. 

Related: How To Create a Product Plan (With Tips for Planning Product)

3. Embrace simplicity

Many companies can benefit from choosing simple, short product names. These are often easier to remember, spell and apply to packaging. They can also be easier to use in casual conversation, which might encourage your customers to use your product name instead of a general category or activity, boosting demand for your merchandise. 

Related: Human-Centered Design: Definition and Example

4. Imagine visuals early

A logotype may affect how consumers view your product and determine its value. As a result, you may benefit from determining design options for your logotype at the beginning of the naming process. As you brainstorm, imagine how you might stylize each product name to match your brand image. Be sure to note any especially memorable or aesthetically appealing design options. 

Related: What Is Color Theory?

5. Use text analytics

Text analytics is a machine-learning technique that allows you to identify key patterns from written data. Using text analytics software may help you analyze customer survey results or product reviews efficiently. It may also provide more in-depth insights than possible from manual analysis processes. As a result, you can gather more highly relevant, optimized data when deciding on the best options for a new product name.

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