Choosing a good product name is not easy. There are a lot of things to consider when you are trying to come up with a name that will inspire your customers.
Can a bad name kill your business?
A good brand name is timeless, memorable, interesting and relevant to the product or service you provide. That might seem like a short checklist, but coming up with a name that ticks all of those boxes is harder than you might think. That’s why so many large companies use product naming services to research and test prospective names.
Bad names confuse and alienate customers
When you launch a new product or service, you have to build recognition and trust. A bad product name, especially one that does not include your brand name, helps build neither.
Consider the example of Qwikster. If you have not heard of Qwikster before, you will have no idea that it was a DVD-by-mail service run by Netflix. Qwikster was a failure, partly because few people are interested in DVD rentals these days and partly because the name simply did not work. Too many people confused it with Napster and assumed that it was not a reputable service. In addition, because the name was not descriptive and did not include the word Netflix anywhere, the Company had to build up recognition and trust from scratch.
Another example is the Orina sandals, a product line launched by Target in the United States. The product was successful in some parts of the USA; however, it was not particularly popular in Spanish-speaking areas. The reason why is simple: while Orina is the name of a Greek goddess, it is also the Spanish word for urine. Target eventually realised that few Spanish-speaking customers could ever associate urine with glamour.
Dated names cost you money
When you are looking for a name for a product or a brand, it’s important that you choose a name which will last for the lifetime of your product. This is usually more of a concern for business names than individual products, but it is still something that is worth remembering.
Consider Carphone Warehouse, or the huge number of discount DVD stores on the high street. The names of those companies no longer truly resemble the smartphones and Blu-ray players that they sell. They are still successful today, but imagine if they were called The Telegram Store and Discount Betamax World. Both of those names are only a single generation of products further removed from what they sell today, but they are so dated that a huge percentage of potential customers would be unable to recognise or relate to the names.
Paying for product naming services is an investment that ought to save you from an embarrassing product launch or an expensive re-branding campaign. A good product naming service will help you find a marketable name for your product, ideally one that has an available domain name to go with it. Once you have that name, the real work begins: raising awareness of your product.